Assessing the sociology of sport: On indigeneity, politics of identity and Australian sports

Christopher Hallinan

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On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, Chris Hallinan, a leading international scholar on the political and economic contexts of sport, considers the role of indigeneity and the politics of identity in Australian sports. The trajectory of inquiry departed from biocentric strands in human movement studies to extend the legacy of sociology of sport to critical analyses of racism, racialisation, the politics of ethnic identities, and their connection to the politics of Australian identities. Postcolonial studies in this area of inquiry progressed through stages, first considering racism encountered by Aboriginal athletes, moving to critical indigenous sport studies and assessments of how indigenous sport might counter prevailing Anglo-Australian nationalist discourse, to a more recent stage, where the dynamics have been assessed by indigenous sport scholars. It is argued that the future of sociology of sport research on indigeneity and the politics of identities resides in a growing reflexivity that considers whether approaches may reproduce the shackles of colonialism , a key element in awareness that may lead to policies to help redress the underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in leadership and management in sport. (c) The Author(s) 2014.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448 - 453
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • aborigine
  • Australian
  • indigeneity
  • racism
  • research

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