Once deemed an unworthy research endeavor, the study of sports fandom has garnered the attention of seasoned scholars from a variety of academic disciplines. Identity and socialization among sports fans are particular burgeoning areas of study among a growing cadre of specialists in the social sciences. Sports Fans, Identity, and Socialization, edited by Adam C. Earnheardt, Paul Haridakis, and Barbara Hugenberg, captures an eclectic collection of new studies from accomplished scholars in the fields such as communication, business, geography, kinesiology, media, and sports management and administration, using a wide range of methodologies including quantitative, qualitative, and critical analyses.
In the communication revolution of the twenty-first century, the study of mediated sports is critical. As fans use all media at their disposal to consume sports and carry their sports-viewing experience online, they are seizing the initiative and asserting themselves into the mediated sports-dissemination process. They are occupying traditional roles of consumers/receivers of sports, but also as sharers and sports content creators. Fans are becoming pseudo sports journalists. They are interpreting mediated sports content for other fans. They are making their voice heard by sports organizations and athletes. Mediated sports, in essence, provide a context for studying and understanding where and how the communication revolution of the twenty-first century is being waged.
With their collection of studies by scholars from North America and Europe, Earnheardt, Haridakis, and Hugenberg illuminate the symbiotic relationship among and between sports organizations, the media, and their audiences. Sports Fans, Identity, and Socialization spurs both the researcher and the interested fan to consider what the study of sports tells us about ourselves and the society in which we live.