Sports-Related Brain Injury: Concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Katie Liston, Dominic Malcolm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Purpose -- To examine the ways in which sports-related brain injury (concussion and sub-concussion) is both similar to and different from other injuries, and to set out a sociological understanding of the injury, its manifestation and management.
Design/methodology/approach -- There is a broad contextualisation of the ‘issue’ of concussion and the processes that have brought this to the fore, an examination of the ways in which concussion has been figuratively clouded from plain view, and an outline of the main contributions of the social sciences to understanding this injury – the culture of risk and the mediating effect of social relationships. The chapter concludes by questioning whether the emergence of concerns over CTE has stimulated a fundamental change in attitudes towards sport injuries, and if this has had a significant impact on the social visibility of concussion.
Findings -- The two available sociological studies of the lived experiences of
concussion are situated within a broader analysis of the politicisation of sports
medicine and the emergence of a particular social discourse around sports-related brain injury.
Research limitations/implications -- The difficulties emanating from the dominance of a bio-medical approach to concussion are discussed along with the need for further research, incorporating a more holistic view of concussion, as a bio-psycho-social phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in the Sociology of Sport
Subtitle of host publicationThe Suffering Body in Sport: Shifting Thresholds of Risk, Pain and Injury
EditorsKevin Young
PublisherEmerald Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781787560680
ISBN (Print)9781787560697
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Sport
PublisherEmerald Publishing
ISSN (Print)1476-2854


  • sport
  • concussion
  • injury
  • risk
  • chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • brain
  • sociology


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