ESA Research Network 28 Society and Sport Midterm Conference Sport and social responsibility: science and practice in times of crisis
University of Debrecen (Hungary)
21-22 October 2022
Call for Papers
The financial crisis, the ‘European refugee crisis’, the covid-19 pandemic, and the recently escalated Russo-Ukrainian conflict have dramatically affected the society and sport inside and outside Europe.
The last decade seems to be characterised by a quick succession of total phenomena (Mauss, 2002), socially and politically described as ‘crises’. There are many possible explanations for the frequent usage of the term ‘crisis’. It could indicate a phenomenon of ‘semantic-bleaching’ (Meillet, 1912/1965); a contemporary tendency of society to describe itself as being permanently inflicted by crises (Luhmann, 1984); a concrete rise in crises in our ‘high-speed society’ (Rosa, 2003); or that we are entering an era of concatenated global crises (Biggs et al., 2011). If we consider crises as a state contrary to normality, we are witnessing a paradoxical normalisation of the crisis state (Holton, 1987).
Sport sociological research results (Földesi, 2014; Spaaij et al., 2021; Wunsch et al., 2022) show that these phenomena largely influenced the sports system at different levels. On the one hand, these events were perceived as issues with negative impacts on sport. Therefore, the wish to re-establish the status quo before the crisis was evident and preponderant. On the other hand, these crises accelerated ongoing processes of societal change, which stimulated innovations that also had positive impacts on agreeing with the sports movement. Many scholars (Donnelly, 1996; Hasson et al., 2021; Walby, 2021) agree that crises tend to increase social inequality (not only) in sports. Therefore, inequality is the main factor in explaining different perceptions and possibilities to adapt to radical social change.