Moving Toward Social Justice in Sport: A Comprehensive Study of Social Justice Activists in Sport and the Factors that Shape them
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There are many different types of injustices in society, and there is no exception for the sport field. Injustices have a negative impact on many aspects of sport. This has resulted in many researchers and former and current athletes realizing that social change effort within their field of interest is necessary. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation was to describe the psychological processes associated with individuals' interest in and commitment to social justice and why people get involved in social justice advocacy. In this study, I used purposeful sampling, interviewing 11 social justice activists (current and former) in the field of sport or scholars studying the sport industry. The participants were asked what factors have influenced their social justice advocacy and why they got interested in social justice endeavors. First, participants offered their definitions of social justice advocacy, two major themes emerged, the Social Conscience and the Champions of a Cause. Next, the first research question asked of the participants was regarding how they learned about the injustice, which inspired them to become activists in the first place. Three clear themes were identified, direct experience, indirect experience, and indirect contact. In addition, the second research question focused on exploring how activists got involved in social justice advocacy. Three factors were identified, including increased awareness, atypical experience, and emotional responses. Moreover, research question 3 focused on what activities participants are engaged. Three major themes were emerged, raising awareness and changing attitudes, engaging in activity, and encouraging others. Finally, the last research question focused on how activists’ personalities play a role in their activism. In drawing from the big five personality, I identified extraversion, empathetic, and conscientiousness as influential personality traits. In conclusion, I provided a number of practical implications. Especially, participants were influenced by the hardship experienced by others. Therefore, it is possible that exposing students, athletes, or others within your sphere of influence to the impact injustices have to those who live them on a daily basis could provide them with the direct or indirect contact with injustice needed to motivate them to learn more about the issues and encourage them to become involved in change.
Lee, Woojun (2015). Moving Toward Social Justice in Sport: A Comprehensive Study of Social Justice Activists in Sport and the Factors that Shape them. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from
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