Sport’s "concussion crisis" has been characterized by controversial scientific discoveries, athlete suicides, and high-profile lawsuits involving professional sports leagues, while provoking widespread media coverage, changes to game rules, and debate about the future of many popular sports. Sociocultural Examinations of Sports Concussion is the first edited collection to bring together multiple sociocultural perspectives on sports concussion that interrogate the social, economic, political, and historical forces shaping the cultural impacts of these injuries.


Each of the ten chapters moves beyond biomedical or neuroscientific paradigms to critically examine a specific intersection of sociocultural factors influencing public perceptions about concussion or athlete experiences of brain injury. These include analyses of media and advertising, medical treatment and diagnostic protocols, gender and masculinity, developments in equipment and scientific models, economics and labor politics, understandings of trauma and recovery, public health philosophies, and disciplinary differences in framing the ontologies of concussion.


Drawing from a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, Sociocultural Examinations of Sports Concussion offers a diverse set of analyses examining brain injuries as cultural and embodied phenomena affecting more than just athletes’ brains, but also embedded within and (re)shaping meanings, identities, and social contexts. It is valuable reading for graduate students and researchers interested in the experience and treatment of sports concussion, sports sociology, and sports technology.

part Part I|20 pages


chapter 1|18 pages

Forces of Impact

Critically Examining Sport’s “Concussion Crises”
ByMatt Ventresca, Mary G. McDonald

part Part II|73 pages

History, Health, Ethics

chapter 3|18 pages

“A Clear Conscience”

Advertising Football Equipment and Responsibility for Injuries 1
ByKathleen Bachynski

chapter 4|19 pages

Football Helmet Safety and the Veil of Standards

ByDaniel R. Morrison

part Part III|94 pages

The Politics of Trauma, Experience, and Research

chapter 6|19 pages

“I Kinda’ Lost My Sense of Who I Was”

Foregrounding Youths’ Experiences in Critical Conversations About Sport-Related Concussions
ByWilliam Bridel, Matt Ventresca, Danika Kelly, Kevin Viliunas, Kathryn Schneider

chapter 7|16 pages

Trauma and Recovery

Boxing and Violence Against Women in a ‘Neurological Age’
ByCathy van Ingen

chapter 8|19 pages

The Athlete’s Body and the Social Text of Suicide

BySean Brayton, Michelle T. Helstein

chapter 9|19 pages

Brain Politics

Gendered Difference and Traumatic Brain Injury in Sport
ByKathryn Henne

chapter 10|19 pages

Beyond the Biopsychosocial

A Case for Critical Qualitative Concussion Research
ByMatt Ventresca