Cover: Power Played: A Critical Criminology of Sport, edited by Derek Silva and Liam Kennedy. Photo: a greyscale photograph of turf sports field, taken from the playing surface. The stadium is empty though all the lights are on.
362 pages, 6 x 9
2 tables
Release Date:01 Jun 2023
Release Date:01 Oct 2022
Release Date:01 Oct 2022
Release Date:01 Oct 2022

Power Played

A Critical Criminology of Sport

SERIES: Law and Society
UBC Press

This innovative collection convincingly argues that modern sport can be characterized by unequal and problematic power relations that are inextricably linked to issues of violence, harm, deviance, and punishment.

On the one hand, sport is a mainstay of community building, an expression of solidarity, and a means to mental and social health. On the other, there is the star player who commits sexual violence, the trans athlete whose achievements are dismissed as fraudulent, or the often racist and abusive nationalism of the impassioned sports fan. At their core, these matters are the concerns of critical criminology, which challenges state definitions of crime to focus on the societal structures that shape the processes of criminalization and social control. From drawing connections between head trauma and athletic violence to exploring the social meanings of sport in prison, contributors to this volume reimagine sport as an important unit of analysis for critical criminologists.

Messages about crime, violence, and punishment in sport mirror broader relations of power that exist off the field. Situated at the intersections of sport, sporting culture, and crime, Power Played blows the whistle on the harm, violence, and exploitation embedded within.

This thoughtful work will find an audience not only with academics and students but also with journalists covering sport and/or crime, those working in the criminal justice system, and independent researchers.

Rather than being a resounding final buzzer, Power Played acts as an opening bell, letting the critical conversations about sports, power, and crime begin and play out. It is by far one of the most sophisticated accounts of these intersections yet made available. James Gacek, assistant professor, Department of Justice Studies, University of Regina
... a primer on the discipline of critical criminology S. B. Lichtman, Shippensburg University, CHOICE Connect

Derek Silva is an associate professor of sociology at King’s University College at Western University and an adjunct research professor of sociology and anthropology at Carleton University. He serves on the editorial board of the Sociology of Sport Journal and co-hosts The End of Sport podcast. With Alex Luscombe and Kevin Walby, he is also the author of Changing of the Guards: Private Influences, Privatization, and Criminal Justice in Canada. Liam Kennedy is an associate professor of criminology at King’s University College at Western University. His most recent work appears in Theoretical Criminology; Crime, Media, Culture; Punishment & Society; and the Sociology of Sport Journal.

Contributors: Vida Bajc, Avi Brisman, Karen Corteen, Jamie Crowther, Bridgette Desjardins, Grace Gallacher, Nic Groombridge, Stacey Hannem, Kathryn Henne, Deborah Jump, Jacqueline Kennelly, Stacey L. Lorenz, Braeden McKenzie, Rosie Meek, Mark Norman, Victoria Silverwood, Deanna Simonetto, Hannah Smithson, Dale Spencer, Erica Fae Thomson, Matt Ventresca, Kevin Young

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