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Topic in Focus: Sports and Society

Sports are deeply embedded in the fabric of society, whether we’re playing on the field, cheering our team from the sidelines, or watching an event on television. This month, Human Kinetics Library presents selections analyzing sports and exercise through a societal lens: from the journey towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in sports, to the role of social class in athletics and physical activity, to the cultural responsibilities of sports broadcasters.

Explore these resources, including new arrivals offered as part of Human Kinetics Library’s 2024 Annual Update, and gain insight into how sports continue to influence and shape our social perspectives.

Black Woman Playing Basketball

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion continues to grow in importance across the social landscape, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Sport provides a comprehensive examination of DEI issues across the sport industry. In the first chapter of this formative text from Human Kinetics, authors Algerian Hart and Ellen J. Staurowsky introduce readers to the terms diversity, equity, and inclusion within the context of sports, and analyze how events from 2020 onward have sparked a racial reckoning within sport organizations.

Young Boy in Alley

Sports and Social Class

Studying the relationship between society and sports means addressing a broad range of factors, including the impacts of income disparity, social diversity, and changing cultural beliefs about fitness. In this sample chapter from Sociocultural Issues in Sport and Physical Activity, authors Robert Pitter, David L. Andrews, and Brandon Wallace examine how social class influences participation in physical activity and considers how income, status, habitus, culture, and lifestyle ultimately shape physical health and well-being.

Three Men Broadcasting Sports

Sports Broadcasting

When we watch broadcast sports, we come together as fans, audiences, and communities. In his book Sports Broadcasting, author Kevin Hull gives readers a tour through the history of the industry and offers insight into how sports broadcasting works, as well as how it continues to change. This provided chapter, “Issues and Ethics in Sports Broadcasting,” analyzes the social and cultural responsibilities of the industry, including the importance of telling stories of athletes from diverse backgrounds and the difficulties faced by women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community who seek success in the field of sports broadcasting.

Black Male Footballer

Equality in Physical Education

The pursuit of equality in physical education requires a commitment to act on behalf of all students. Critical Race Studies in Physical Education, by Tara B. Blackshear and Brian Culp, presents eight case studies examining the experiences of Black students and teachers as they navigate racism and seek an end to discrimination. This provided selection describes the challenges of a Black gay student facing down racist and homophobic treatment from coaches, teammates, and spectators.

Two Men Watching Sports

The Social Impact of Sports

For readers and researchers seeking to understand the impact of sports on society from a scholarly perspective, Fundamentals of Sociology of Sport and Physical Activity offers a thorough and accessible starting point. In this sample chapter , authors Katherine M. Jamieson and Maureen M. Smith examine how sports and physical activity shape the major spheres of life, including economy, family, education, media, and politics.

Cycling and Mountain Biking

For many cycling enthusiasts, whether on the road or off the trail, the world looks best as it’s whizzing by. This month, Human Kinetics Library showcases high-quality content about cycling and mountain biking, from choosing the right bicycle for your frame to training tips for peak performance in a range of competitive events. Whether you’re a cycling coach, an expert mountain biker, or thinking about entering your first race, explore the chapters below and gain fresh knowledge about how make the most of your time in the saddle.

Finding the Right Ride

To explore the science behind cycling, editors and cycling scientists Stephen S. Cheung, PhD, and Mikel Zabala, PhD, have assembled the latest information to help beginning and expert cyclists advance their training. This sample chapter from Cycling Science offers advice on how to perfect the fit between bicycle and rider, from finding the right frame proportion, to positioning the saddle for ideal posture, to adjusting the cleat position for ideal pedaling and foot protection.

Going the Distance

Athletes interested in long-distance cycling have a range of events to choose from: the century (100K) ride, brevet, ultradistance, and more. Achieving peak performance in such events means being prepared for a range of physical and psychological demands. In their comprehensive book Distance Cycling, long-time cycling great John Hughes and veteran endurance coach Dan Kehlenbach cover a range of key topics, from selecting the right distance event to avoiding injury during the most relentless rides. Read this sample chapter about how to prepare the right training program for your event and stick it to it until race day.

The Art of Pacing

The key to maximizing performance without experiencing physical burnout is finding the perfect pace during a ride. In this chapter from Hunter Allen’s and Stephen S. Cheung’s science-centered guide Cutting-Edge Cycling, the authors offer strategies for ideal pacing during both warm-up and the main event, including how to adjust for changing course conditions.

Climbing the Hill

Mountain biking and cycling both take place on two wheels, but some say that’s where the similarity ends. In the third edition of Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, champion racer Brian Lopes and renowned riding coach Lee McCormack share their elite perspectives, real-life race stories, and successful techniques to help riders of varying styles and levels build confidence and skills. This chapter focuses on a key part of mountain biking: getting up the hill. Read advice from Lopes and McCormack about how to ride up any incline and terrain, so you can enjoy the next part: the thrill of the descent!

Training for Your Event

For competitive cyclists training to rise from beginner to expert, three-time Olympian John Howard offers the perfect resource; in his book Mastering Cycling, Howard helps cyclists maximize training sessions, train more efficiently, and trim seconds off their time. To help cyclists best tailor their training, Howard includes this chapter on strategizing for different events- individual time trials, road racing, circuit races, cyclo-cross, and more.