Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sociologist Studies Sport

Brandon Lang (Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice) has been very busy over the last few months.  He edited a book entitled Sociology of Sports that is to be published in 2016 and has administered surveys at several professional sporting events, asking fans a series of questions relating to their degree of concern regarding the Washington Redskins team name. 

The twenty-three chapters of Sociology of Sports examine a number of issues that are central to the sociology of sports.  Here is the blurb from back cover of the book:

The Sociology of Sports explores the sociological significance of sports in the United States and around the world.  The anthology features diverse readings and perspectives that illustrate the important role of sports in the lives of millions of people.

The text is organized into six sections.  The first provides an overview of the main theories used to shed light on all social behavior and explains sports sociology.  The second examines how sports perpetuate race, class, gender and religious inequality.  Section Three explores the positive and negative effects of technology on sports.

Section Four includes descriptions and analyses of recent trends in youth and amateur sports, while Section Five considers changes in fan and player behavior over time.  The final section discusses how sports shape and are shaped by politics and the economy.

Accessible and interesting, The Sociology of Sports alerts readers to legitimate concerns about sports while also celebrating the positive role that sports play in health and community building.

As for Lang's research, he has become very interested in the growing social movement to pressure the Washington Redskins to change their team name.  His upcoming sabbatical in Spring 2016 will be spent analyzing survey data that was collected at 6 different NFL and MLB games, including ones in Washington and Cleveland.   He collected over 500 surveys and plans to examine why some groups of fans are more concerned than others regarding Native American team names and imagery in sports.

Lang is also collaborating with Dr. Todd Hoover in Education and Dr. Mohsen Shabahang, the Director of General Surgery at Geisinger, on two projects.  One project conducted focus group research to uncover the extent to which different learning styles among residents impact their capacity to progress through their respective programs; the second examines the importance of emotional intelligence in helping residents navigate the ups and downs of surgical training.

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