Sports and organized games

John Harris, Stephen Wagg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Comparatively little has been written by scholars on the specific theme of childhood, sport, and games. This is largely for two reasons. First, childhood only comparatively recently became the subject of full-scale academic inquiry. As a substantial academic enterprise, it goes back no further than the 1960s. The principal tenet of the study of childhood is that childhood is a social construction; that is, something that human societies have developed at a particular time in their history. (Anthropologists had been making similar arguments since the early 20th century.) Second, sport, which is generally defined as a pleasurable, competitive activity with written, universally accepted rules (and, as such, is confined to the modern era), has invariably been regarded as unproblematic for children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Bibliographies
Subtitle of host publicationChildhood Studies
EditorsHeather Montgomery
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • children's games
  • childhood
  • sports


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