This innovative text's critical examination foregrounds the prime reason why so many people participate in or watch sport – pleasure. Although there has been a "turn" to emotions and affect within academia over the last two decades, it has been somewhat remiss that pleasure, as an integral aspect of human life, has not received greater attention from sociologists of sport, exercise and physical education. This book addresses this issue via an unabashed examination of sport and the moving body via a "pleasure lens." It provides new insights about the production of various identities, power relations and social issues, and the dialectical links between the socio-cultural and the body. Taking a wide-sweeping view of pleasure - dignified and debauched, distinguished and mundane – it examines topics as diverse as aging, health, fandom, running, extreme sports, biopolitics, consumerism, feminism, sex and sexuality. In drawing from diverse theoretical approaches and original empirical research, the text reveals the social and political significance of pleasure and provides a more rounded, dynamic and sensual account of sport.

chapter 1|11 pages


Sport and the Social Significance of Pleasure

chapter 2|17 pages

Pleasures Small and Large

chapter 3|12 pages

A Short History of Pleasure

chapter 6|17 pages

Aging Bod(ies) and Pleasure

Poetic Orientations

chapter 7|19 pages

Running for Pleasures

chapter 8|17 pages

When the Pleasurable Is Political

An Affective Analysis of Viewing the Olympics

chapter 9|18 pages

'I Just Love Watching Football'

chapter 10|29 pages

Aesthetic Pleasure and Sport

The Case of Love + Guts: Skateboarding Killed the Art Show

chapter 12|14 pages

Be Happy, Play Sport?

Governing Happiness via the Promotion of Sport