Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Joy T. DeSensi

Committee Members

Damon P. S. Andrew, Lars Dzikus, Ronald E. Taylor


The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the relationship between sport management and sociology of sport, with a specific focus on connections between the fields. To accomplish this purpose, I completed three distinct “projects”: (a) a historical project aimed at exploring key influences on the development of the fields, (b) a social network project aimed at exploring the structure of the coauthorship network in the fields, and (c) an interpretive project aimed at considering the qualities that define research in sport management and sociology of sport. Ultimately, it seems that scholars have a significant amount of flexibility in terms of how they present their research to the field of sport management, to the field of sociology of sport, and/or to both fields. However, a relatively small number of scholars appear to consistently produce research in both fields and seek connections between the two fields. I suggest that there are a number of issues facing each field, such as a lack of diversity in sport management research and concerns with relevance and applicability in sociology of sport, as well as common interests between the fields, such as advancing the study of sport as a valuable area of academic inquiry, that might be addressed by considering and building upon the connections that exist between sport management and sociology of sport.

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