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Social Science of Sport

Using the methods of empirical social research, we deal with the interaction of sport and society, social structures and organisations in sport and social action in sporting contexts.

Our research is primarily grounded in sociology, focusing on three main areas. 1) A first focus marks the topic of cultural diversity in sport and in sports organisations. German society is becoming increasingly heterogeneous and multicultural, which is not without consequences for sport and its organisations. We deal with the participation of immigrants in sports and with the question whether sport can contribute to integration. 2) A second focus is on the socialisation benefits of sport for children and young people. A wide range of socialisation potentials are attributed to sport. For example, it should foster health and wel-being, convey fairness, protect against drug use, enable self-efficacy or contribute to social integration. We are interested in whether and to what extent sport can fulfil these expectations. 3) A third focus is on the perception and significance of high-performance sport in the population. We are particularly interested in the question of how major sporting events and international successes in sport are perceived in the public and what consequences this has for identification with the nation state.

Since April 2016, Prof. Dr. Michael Mutz has been head of the Social Sciences of Sport Research Unit.