There is now a considerable amount of expertise nationally and internationally in the social scientific and cultural analysis of sport in relation to the economy and society more generally. Contemporary research topics, such as sport and social justice, science and technology and sport, global social movements and sport, sports mega-events, sports participation and engagement and the role of sport in social development, suggest that sport and social relations need to be understood in non-Western developing economies, as well as European, North American and other advanced capitalist societies. The current high global visibility of sport makes this an excellent time to launch a major new book series that takes sport seriously, and makes this research accessible to a wide readership.
The series Globalizing Sport Studies is thus in line with a massive growth of academic expertise, research output and public interest in sport worldwide. At the same time, it seeks to use the latest developments in technology and the economics of publishing to reflect the most innovative research into sport in society currently under way in the world. The series is multidisciplinary, although primarily based on the social sciences and cultural studies approaches to sport.
The broad aims of the series are to: act as a knowledge hub for social scientific and cultural studies research in sport, including, but not exclusively, anthropological, economic, geographic, historical, political science and sociological studies; contribute to the expanding field of research on sport in society in the United Kingdom and internationally by focusing on sport at regional, national and international levels; create a series for both senior and more junior researchers that will become synonymous with cutting edge research, scholarly opportunities and academic development; promote innovative discipline-based, multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary theoretical and methodological approaches to researching sport in society; provide an English language outlet for high quality non-English writing on sport in society; publish broad overviews, original empirical research studies and classic studies from non-English sources; and thus attempt to realize the potential for globalizing sport studies through open content licensing with ‘Creative Commons’.
With The greening of golf Brad Millington and Brian Wilson offer a pioneering work in critical studies of golf. Golf is a sport that is broadly popular as an adult participation sport and as a professional spectator sport. It is of truly global reach – and it is precisely the clash of its profitable economics and its punishing environmental costs that make it so important. This is in fact the central question of the book: can golf ever become both economically viable and environmentally benign? Does economic health collide inevitably with environmental and human health? Is ‘corporate environmentalism’ (a claim made, of course, in a great many settings beyond golf) an oxymoron?
The authors explore key issues pertaining to golf and the environment, outline relevant debates within the field of environmental sociology and make clear links to wider research on sport, globalization and social movements. The book assesses golf’s turn to reflexive environmental stewardship as well as golf-related protest movements since the 1980s, focusing on both global and local forms of protest activity. Millington and Wilson conclude with a set of recommendations intended to inspire critical thinking about how to promote healthier and more ethical relationships between the golf industry and its numerous stakeholders.
The book offers a wealth of case studies and contextualization in a modern history of golf. In it the authors explore the current global reach of the sport and provide an array of interviews to support their claims and analysis. They offer a persuasive theorization of the politics of the environmental economics of the sport, drawing from the interrelated fields of sociology, critical ecology, organizational studies and social movement studies. Overall their argument is coherent, provocative, and has significance for much broader issues of sport and environmental politics.
John Horne,Preston and Edinburgh, 2015