Assessing the sociology of sport: On globalisation and sport policy

Tien Chin Tan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, a key scholar in the sociology of sport in Taiwan, Tien-Chin Tan, considers the field’s concerns with globalisation and how they transact with and inform the study of sport policy. In considering the trajectories of what seem to be two distinct areas of inquiry, Tan notes that much common ground exists between the sociology of sport and sport policy studies in areas such as those focused on global sport organisations, sport mega-events, athlete migration, sport for development, right to play initiatives and exploitation of child labour. Because sociologists of sport and researchers on sport policy often view sport from distinct theoretical lenses and wield different methodological tactics, a key challenge will be for researchers in each area to abandon their insistence on exclusivity and on the superiority of their respective approaches. In the future, researchers from each camp should work to learn from each other and advance cross-disciplinary cooperation that can contribute greatly to the acquisition of a more comprehensive and insightful understanding of sport, globalisation and the role of nation states and nations in relation to different socio-political contexts. The essay closes by illustrating how such a merger of approaches has advanced understanding about the relationship of social scientific work with changes in sport policy in the People’s Republic of China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-616
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 3


  • globalisation
  • nation states
  • political science
  • sociology
  • sport policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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