Rebounding as Praxis: Interrogating Positionality and Proximity in Sporting Fieldwork

Courtney M. Cox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores issues of power and possibility in conducting sport research. In employing ethnographic methods, significant challenges confront researchers seeking to conduct interviews and field observations within sporting spaces. How, for example, should researchers assess their role in the stands of a game, a rich space of communicative potential? Whether online or in person, how can the study of fan communities, as well as the teams and athletes they surround, attune academics to collective identity without obscuring one’s own positionality? As an embodied practice, how should scholars approach the field of play with the embodied methodology of ethnography? Using the basketball metaphor of rebounding, this chapter offers insights on how researchers might approach the study of athletes and fans. Drawn from multi-sited research focused on women’s basketball within the sports-media nexus, this chapter utilizes field notes and interview transcripts to construct a methodological framework for studying sport fans as well as the individual and organizational structures surrounding them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Sport Fans and Fandom
EditorsDanielle Sarver Coombs, Anne C Osborne
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780429342189
ISBN (Print)9780367358310
StatePublished - May 6 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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