September 2020

Last modified: 30.09.2020



This special issue aims to provide new knowledge and insights into refugees’ experiences and journeys across all levels of sport – from grassroots to elite. The special issue will also provide a platform to better understand and showcase the contributions by refugees to local and global sports cultures, and to highlight the relevance of sport as a lens through which it is possible to reveal, interrogate, and address practices, narratives, and policies regarding forced migration in a variety of policy and social contexts. Papers from different disciplines and perspectives are invited. Themes will include (but are not limited to): 

  • Policy discourses and institutional dynamics of sport, forced migration  and resettlement
  • The lived experiences of sport participation and fandom among refugee-background people across all levels of sport - from grassroots to elite
  • Contexts, mechanisms, and outcomes in sport-based programmes that work with refugee youth
  • Pedagogies of sport-based programmes that work with refugees
  • The politics and ethics of research on sport and forced migration
  • Methodological innovations in the study of sport, forced migration, and settlement
  • The challenges, opportunities, and ambivalences of sport as a means of social inclusion and political solidarity
  • Intersectional approaches to sport and forced migration.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 31 October 2020. Please contact Professor Ramón Spaaij, Victoria University, Australia if you are interested in submitting an abstract and paper to the special issue.



This call for papers is open to theoretical, empirical or conceptual submissions from sociologists of sport focused upon race/ethnicity and their intersections, and allied areas of inquiry. In particular, we welcome submissions that focus upon one or more of the following areas of inquiry:

  • How do experiences of racism and discrimination shape racialised people’s experiences in sport and physical activity, both historically in the present context?
  • How are the several moral panics and crises concurrent with the Black Lives Matter movement, including the COVID-19 pandemic and ‘Migrant Crisis’ in Europe and North America intertwined with racial/ethnic relations in sport?
  • How do athletes show resistance against discriminatory practices based on race, ethnicity and religion? How do athletes support the Black Lives Matter movement? In this regard, what is White allyship and how does it work?
  • How do sport organizations manage racism(s) and discrimination?
  • How is the current spike in activism related to systemic racialised issues?
  • What are the consequences of the media racialisation of athletes and sports?
  • How can academics, contribute to racial justice in sport and the academy?
  • What practical possibilities and limitations exist in sport that contribute to (or hinder/subvert) the BLM movement, and in addressing inequality beyond the places of sport?

For further information and instructions on how to submit a paper, please visit EJSS’s website.




Sport, Migration, and Gender in the Neoliberal Age, co-edited by Niko Besnier, Domenica Gisela Calabrò, and Daniel Guinness, will appear in a few weeks (Routledge). This ethnographic collection explores how neoliberalism has permeated the bodies, subjectivities, and gender of youth around the world as global sport industries have expanded their reach into marginal areas, luring young athletes with the dream of pursuing athletic careers in professional leagues of the Global North.

This collection of rich ethnographies from diverse regions of the world, from Ghana to Finland and from China to Fiji, pulls the reader into the lives of men and women in the global sport industries, including aspiring athletes, their families, and the agents, coaches, and academy directors shaping athletes’ dreams. It demonstrates that the ideals of neoliberalism spread in surprising ways, intermingling with categories like gender, religion, indigeneity, and kinship. Athletes’ migrations provide a novel angle on the global workings of neoliberalism.

Click here for further details




Following the violent death of George Floyd in May 2020 Black Lives Matter has gained strong support from professional athletes in North America and Europe. This time, the fight against racism goes beyond sign of solidarity, printed jerseys or a minute’s silence before matches. For instance, following ongoing police violence in the USA and the shooting of Jacob Blake, NBA and WNBA players have chosen a powerful form of protest and forced the league to postpone games. Hopefully, such collective action of athletes will persist and further nurture sports’ potential not only to take a stand but to actively contribute to tackle racism, in all its facets, in societies all over the world. Read the full article from The Guardian here.


New member of SPOMI PhD study group

It is our pleasure to welcome a new member of our PhD Study Group: Tony Mickelsson Blomqvist, PhD Candidate from Department of social sciences, School of social work, Södertörn University, Sweden.

Tony is a first year doctoral student in Social Work at Södertörn University, with BA’s in psychology and criminology and a MA in psychology. His thesis is concerned with the integration of Eastern European immigrants through sport in Swedish society. In spite of the emigration that occurred upon the dissolution of Soviet Union, little research examines Eastern European immigrants and integrative processes in sport contexts. In the Nordic regions, policymakers view sport as a legitimate vehicle for social change and integration. This notion of sport is not shared universally; in Eastern European regions, sport is primarily centered around competition, fitness and mass-participation, but to a lesser extent viewed as a tool for integration and so forth. In Tony’s doctoral research he intends to address how individuals shaped by such socio-cultural and historical factors are being integrated (or not) in a Swedish sport society which heavily emphasizes integration through sport rather than just competition. In a broad sense, Tony's thesis aims to address what barriers and facilitators that exist when trying to integrate Eastern European immigrants through sport in Sweden.