Analyzing Discourses and the Communication of Sport: A Scoping Review and Suggestions for Future Endeavors

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Scholars have been increasingly engaging with discourse analysis as theory and method. At its essence, this approach is centered around communicative acts, and thus is foundational to the study of sport media and communication. However, to our knowledge, no overview of the use of discourse analysis in sport, exercise, and physical education studies exists. Therefore, we conducted a structured scoping review by identifying 1892 papers in 277 journals from 2000 to April 2022, then narrowed the sample to 587 papers that specifically conducted a discourse analysis of sport. We sought to understand which theoretical traditions are commonly utilized, which sub-disciplines embrace discourse analysis with specific attention to communication, and how this approach can enrich and add to the methodological and theoretical development of media and communication studies in sport. Our review illustrated a heavy reliance on Foucauldian discourse analysis and critical discourse analysis across a multitude of sport disciplines, though discourse analysis generally appears less frequently in sport communication journals. To advance our field’s use of discourse analysis, we suggest the need to emphasis a multimodal approach to discourse analysis, the integration of technology within this approach, and directions to theorize beyond dominant approaches to focus on mediated social interactions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication and Sport
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

ID: 367482026