sport as a social contruction
society gives form and meaning to an aspect of life, bound by the conditions of that society. may cause some people to be defensive because they resist the idea that we can or ever should change sports.
The sociological imagination
having a cultural, historical and critical sensitivity to the world around us.
• What is the structure of a particular society and how does it differ from other varieties of social order? - cultural
• Where does this society stand in human history and what are its essential features? - historical question
• What varieties of women and men live in this society and in this period, and what is happening to them? - critical
6 elements that deﬁne culture
symbols, social institutions , norms, values, language and technology
The way of life of a people, created by people in a particular society/location.
Sets of interrelated ideas used To give meaning to the world, make sense of the world, and identify what is important, right, and natural in the world. Open to change - never established 'once and for all time'. They emerge as people struggle over the meaning and organization of social life.
They are complex and sometimes inconsistent.
They change as power relationships change in society.
Distinct sets of behaviour and beliefs that differentiate them from a larger culture of which they are part.
-Distinctive because of age, race, ethnicity, class and/or gender
-Determining qualities: religious, aesthetic, occupational, political, sexual
represents the perspectives and ideas favoured by people who have power and influence in society
the dominance of one group over other groups, so cultural perspectives become skewed to favour the dominant group.
Grounded in mythology, Competitors were males from wealthy families, Warrior sports, Violence and serious injury were rife, No measurements/record keeping
Political, Used to train soldiers, Provide entertainment, Gambling spectators, Used to 'Control' the masses, Received some criticism for mixing social classes, Some connection to religious rituals
Served military purpose, Folk games played by peasents, Violent and dangerous, Some rituals connected to the Roman Movement, Ball games played during celebrations, Roots for modern ball games, Major difference in games played in different classes, Gender exclusion still apparent
Greater control over peasants, Simultaneous emerging of the 'scholar-athlete' or 'Renaissance man', Gender restrictions
Calvinism/Puritanism adverse effect of games
Games increase in popularity in Canada due to British & French colonists, Natives/colonists not effected by each other
Many sports emerged that are familiar to today's, No longer related to religious rituals, Equality, Diversions - no use in society, Not thought to effect social life
Industrial Revolution - early years
Sports emerged in wealthy populations
'Blue laws' , By late 19th century the 'Blue Laws' were largely disregarded
Industrial Revolution - later years
Organized clubs, Still limited to the wealthy, Middle class explosion, 'Rational Recreation'
Entertainment, professionalization, and commercialism, Masculinity and violence, Nationalism and chauvinism, Gender inequities and homophobia, Racism and racial discrimination, Physical abilities and access to participation, Class dynamics and use of resources, Media images and narratives - misrepresentation of Olympic characteristics
socialization is and active process inﬂuenced by the decisions we make or have made for us
Signiﬁcant other - the agent of socializing that has the biggest inﬂuence whether we specialize or diversify has an impact on socialization
Agents of Socialization
The family - competing & being a 'good sport'
Peer group - physical activity & competition
The school - competition, status in sport
Sports clubs/Community groups - teams/other teams
Coaches - training, competition, winning and losing
Religious institutions - Ethical & Moral
The mass media - Role models
Power and performance model
Highly organized & competitive, Strength speed power, Competitive success = excellence, Setting records, Selection system, Hierarchical authority, Idea of 'enemies'
Pleasure & Participation model
Combination of types of connection, Different ethics towards team & opponent, Empowerment
Inclusive, Democratic, Interpersonal support
Early start age in sport, Early involvements in one sport, Early involvement in focused, high intensity training, Early involvement in competitive sport
"Participation in a variety of different sports before deciding to concentrate all efforts on the pursuit of elite performance in one single sport.", 15-16 Years old is prime for specialization
No dis-advantage for elite sports performers, Elite athletes play 3-6 different sports before specializing , Associated with less hours of involvement in the 'chosen' sport before achieving elite status.
Theories about specialization
Social trend, Parents, Coaches, Early peak age of some sports, Weather/geography, Socioeconomic factors, Sport Commercialization, Early recruiting, Sport clubs , Business interest
negatives of specialization
Family concerns, Social Relationships, Coach-athlete relationships, Education concerns, Physical and psychological problems, Drug & dietary problems, Retirement
Arguments for specialization
Education, Skill refinement, Needed in order to "keep up" with others. Satisfies a desire to achieve excellence. A means of helping a marginal player make a varsity team, A means to avoid an injury in another sport. Various body types are suited for particular sports
Positives of diversification
Highly transferable skills
Negatives of diversification
Pre-competitive anxiety, Intense pressure to win, High expectations from adults, Time constraints, Lack of social life, Feeling of a lack of control over one's life, Depression, Eating disorders, Chronic fatigue