Social media and sport communication: Abundant theoretical opportunities

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A little over a decade ago, communication scholar Robert Craig (1999, p. 119) observed in his award-winning article, “Communication theory is enormously rich in the range of ideas that fall within its nominal scope and new theoretical work on communication has recently been flourishing.” In the ensuing time since Craig’s declaration, scholars have accomplished much in advancing communication theory, particularly in the emerging field of sport communication (Kassing, 2009; Krizek, 2008; Sanderson, 2011a). Sport communication research is, to use Craig’s descriptor,“flourishing.“This status has been achieved largely through the willingness of sport communication and sport media researchers to undertake studies that advance communication (including mass communication) theory. Several brief examples include scholars using social identity theory to explain audience perceptions of female sports reporters (BaiocchiWagner and Behm-Morawitz, 2011); employing agenda setting theory to analyze Olympic broadcast coverage (Angelini and Billings, 2010); and utilizing dissent to explore Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban’s blogging (Sanderson, 2009).As this volume evidences, sport communication literature is expanding and increasing in prominence. Concurrent with this trek up the mountain of disciplinary acceptance is the necessity for sport communication and sport media researchers to continue integrating and advancing communication theory. The emergence of research investigating social media influences in sport stands as a particularly rich area for this task to be accomplished.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Sport Communication
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781136339493
ISBN (Print)9780415518192
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


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