This book examines sports medicine from a variety of social scientifi c perspectives. Although the dominant approach in this volume is sociology, being the home discipline of both editors and the majority of contributors, refl ective of the growth of inter-and multidisciplinary research the collection also includes contributions from historians, policy analysts, philosophers and ethicists, social psychologists and those whose disciplinary infl uences are more eclectic. Our aim in producing this collection is to consolidate recent advances in this area of study in order to establish a basis for future development. This book is partly an attempt to undergo a “stocktaking” process, but in itself (we hope) has acted, and will in future act, as a stimulus to the fi eld. We see this as a long overdue development and one that has the potential to have a signifi cant impact on the various sport-related subdisciplines. Moreover, by delineating the specifi cities of sport as a context and focus for medicine, we believe this area has the potential to inform ongoing debates within broader social scientifi c studies of medicine. A central aim of this introduction, therefore, is to look at the roots of the social scientifi c investigation of sports medicine and discuss the fi eld’s future prospects. Prior to doing this, however, we wish to provide some conceptual clarity by interrogating “sports medicine” as a concept.