The central object of this introductory essay, and of this Special Issue more broadly, is to explore relations between the study of work and the continuing evolution of the sociology of sport with a particular focus on the mental health of sports workers. In particular, we argue that revitalizing the study of sports work, and eschewing the highly individualized and reductionist approaches most often demonstrated by dominating quantitative and psychological approaches, is essential if we are to understand more adequately the complex interdependencies which characterize the lives of sports workers and have often profound impacts on health and wellbeing. We also argue that there has been a relative neglect – until recently – among sociologists of sport to systematically research the benefits and costs to mental health of sports work, and that there is much to be gained from broader sociological investigations of work in pursuing this research agenda. In doing so, we examine: (i) social trends in work and employment; (ii) work and labour as key areas of sociological investigation; and (iii) the implications of work and sport for mental health.
Roderick, M., Smith, A., & Potrac, P. (2017). The sociology of sports work, emotions and mental health: scoping the field and future directions. Sociology of Sport Journal, 34(2), 99-107. https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2017-0082