This is the first book to explore in breadth and in depth the complex intersections between sport, leisure, and social justice.

This book examines the relations of power that produce social inequalities and considers how sport and leisure spaces can perpetuate those relations, or act as sites of resistance, and makes a powerful call for an activist scholarship in sport and leisure studies. Presenting original theoretical and empirical work by leading international researchers and practitioners in sport and leisure, this book addresses the central social issues that lie at the heart of critical social science – including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, religious persecution, socio-economic deprivation, and the climate crisis – and asks how these issues are expressed or mediated in the context of sport and leisure practices. Covering an incredibly diverse range of topics and cases – including sex testing in sport; sport for refugees; pedagogical practices in physical education; community sport development; events and human rights; and athlete activism – this book also surveys the history of sport and social justice research, as well as outlining theoretical and methodological foundations for this field of enquiry.

The Routledge Handbook of Sport, Leisure and Social Justice is an indispensable resource for any advanced student, researcher, policymaker, practitioner, or activist with an interest in the sociology, culture, politics, history, development, governance, media and marketing, and business and management of sport and leisure.


Historicising and theorising social justice in sport and leisure

1 Sport, leisure, and social justice at the neoliberal moment: challenges for integrity and activist scholarship

Stefan Lawrence, Joanne Hill, and Rasul Mowatt

2 Contrasting approaches to social justice in sport

Jim Lusted

3 Heritage, public history, and social justice in sport and leisure

Matthew L. McDowell

4 Sport, leisure, and social justice in the age of precarity and prosumption

Spencer Swain


Sex, gender, and sexualities

5 Women, sport, and activism: an international perspective

Celia Valiente

6 Sport, masculinities, and homosexualities: why inclusive masculinity theory can be considered dangerous for queer sportspeople

Richard Pringle

7 The invisibility of trans men in sport and sporting spaces

Abby Barras

8 Sex-testing and discrimination in sport: upholding an uneven playing field

Grace Athanas-Linden

9 Doing and undoing gender in physical education and youth sport: the potential for practice

Hannah Kettley-Linsell and Joanne Hill


‘Race’, forced migration, and religion

10 Social justice, sport, leisure, and racism in the United States

Adam Love, Steven N. Waller, Ashley Gardner, and Chermaine Cole

11 Race, social justice, leisure, and sport in Brazil: a critical perspective in defence of anti-racism

Lennon Giulio Santos de Farias, Neilton de Sousa Ferreira Júnior, Léo Barbosa Nepomuceno, Eduardo Vinícius Mota e Silva, Luciana Venâncio, Luiz Sanches Neto, and Henrique Antunes Cunha Júnior

12 Sport and social justice for refugees: advocating for leisure activities as a basic human need

Mark Doidge

13 Mental health, Drapetomania, and professional football: a memorial to Dalian Atkinson

Colin King

14 Christianity, sport, and social justice

David Torevell

15 Race, social justice, and children’s everyday leisure geographies

Utsa Mukherjee


Physical education, young people, and families

16 Families, advocacy, and social justice in youth sport

Ruth Jeanes and Dawn Trussell

17 Teaching for social justice through physical education

Rod Philpot, Wayne Smith, Richard Pringle, Alan Ovens, and Göran Gerdin

18 Legitimate embodiment in formal education: imagery in physical education textbooks

Ana Rey-Cao and Alba González-Palomares

19 Chinese government’s modern governance and the challenges to social justice in school sports

Honglu Zhang

20 Teaching for social justice through physical education in the context of US legislation and policies against critical race theory

Micah J. Dobson

21 School physical education and social justice: what are we doing in Brazil?

Isabel Porto Filgueiras, Elisabete dos Santos Freire, Bruno Freitas Meireles, Ewerton Leonardo da Silva Vieira, Bruna Gabriela Marques, Graciele Massoli Rodrigues, Luiz Sanches Neto, and Luciana Venâncio


Sport, development, and community

22 Equality and social justice in sport for development and peace

Simon C. Darnell and Rob Millington

23 Sport for development: a troubling past to a brighter future?

Michael Sup

24 Implementing service-learning for social change in sport management curricula

Michael B. Edwards, Kimberly A. Bush, and J. Lin Dawson

25 Community sport development: where sport development and social justice meet

Janine Partington and Dan Bates

26 Sport, Physical Education (PE) and Sport-for-All (SfA) programmes: intersectional perspectives from Cyprus and Greece

Foteini Papadopoulou and Symeon Dagkas

27 Socioeconomic status in sport and leisure engagement

Adam Gemar

28 Addressing power dynamics in disability sport studies: emancipatory participatory principles for social justice research

Damian Haslett

29 Sport and crime reduction

Peter R. Harris


Elite sport, activism, and media

30 English football, safe standing, and social movements: an eventful sociology of fan activism

Mark Turner

31 Branding social justice in sport

Antonio S. Williams, Tanya K. Jones, Kelly J. Brummett, and Zack P. Pedersen

32 National anthems and athlete activism

Keith D. Parry, Daryl Adair, and Jamie Cleland

33 Sport, the media, and athlete activism: ‘just shut up and play’

Steph Doehler

34 Social media and online activism in women’s rugby: From #IAmEnough to #ICare

Ali Bowes and Alex Culvin

35 The five groups of environmental sports activists: a complex medley

Toby Miller

Future directions and research methods for social justice

36 Research methods for sport, leisure, and social justice

Ian Jones and Jayne Caudwell

37 Arts-based research and social justice in sport and leisure

David Carless and Kitrina Douglas

38 Participatory research in sport, leisure, and forced migration: where is the social justice?

Chris Webster and Robyn Smith

39 Indigenous methodologies for sport, leisure and social justice research: a Pacific studies perspective

Gina Hawkes

40 Research integrity and ethics in sport social justice research: safe practice

Christina Philippou

41 Intersectional scholarship on sport and leisure: trends, tensions, and promising directions

Prisca Bruno Massao and Mari Haugaa Engh