Assessing the sociology of sport: On Western hegemony and alternative discourses

Lee Thompson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, Lee Thompson, a key foundational scholar in the development of the sociology of sport in Japan, whose work has helped bridge understandings from the West, considers the distinctive character of socio-cultural inquiry about sport in Japan. In assessing the trajectory of the field in Japan, Thompson notes that Japan has not been one of the ‘social science powers’ and that its theoretical and methodological lenses were often reliant on strategies developed in the West. In addition, the influence of Japanese scholarship in the field has been stifled because of limited dissemination in outlets publishing in the English language. A key challenge is for the theoretical and geographic range of research published in Japanese scholarly outlets to be mirrored in the breadth of work published by Japanese scholars in English language outlets: with the increased demands of globalization and neo-liberal reforms, there are increased pressures to publish in international (English language) journals. In looking to the future, the dangers of ‘Western hegemony’ in publication standards and the tensions in giving standing to particularized Asia-centered alternative discourses are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-622
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 3


  • Japan
  • Western hegemony
  • alternative discourses
  • ethnocentrism
  • social science powers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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