On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, an increasingly influential Korean scholar in the sociology of sport, Jung Woo Lee, considers the development of and challenges for the sociology of sport in Korea. While the sociology of sport was first introduced to South Korea in the late 1960s, growing academic interest was fuelled by the Asian Games and Olympic Games in Seoul in the 1980s. Key volumes, such as Lim’s introduction to the field and an influential edited volume on sport and social theory published by the Korean Society for the Sociology of Sport, set important benchmarks for development. Key challenges for the sociology of sport revolve around the tensions in practical application in relation to the formation of policy and the need to develop unique theoretical and critical approaches to sport in the Korean context to reduce the dependency on positivism and empiricism. Two key research lines, focused on the dynamics of globalisation and sport and on the ideological power of sport communication and media, have particular relevance to the Korean situation moving forward.
- sociology of sport