Sociology of Sport V. Psychology of Sport • Locus of Control Difference • Fundamental Attribution Error • Instinct v. Culture • Intelligence v. Internalization
Psychology of Sport • Study in terms of attributes and processes that exist inside the individual • Focus on motivation, cognition, self-esteem, and personality • Sample research question: • How is the motivation of athletes related to their athletic success?
Sociology of Sport • Sociologists study sport in terms of the social conditions that surround and are outside the individual athlete • Focus on relations, culture, social class, sexuality, and ethnicity • Sample research question: • how do the prevailing cultural definitions of masculinity and femininity affect the success of athletes?
Why Resistance to the Sociology of Sport? • Too Complex • Easier to change individual athletes • Easier to change the way athletes deal with external conditions • Requires a change in the external conditions of athletes lives • Personally Troubling • Coaches and parents view changes as causing trouble • Changing the way coaches exercise power and control over athletes requires coaches to make personal changes • Requires a change in the external conditions of athletes lives
Why Apply the Sociology of Sport? • Think Critically • Understand social problems of athletes and the social issues associated with sport • Beyond Physical Performance • See beyond the score and see how sport affects the way people feel, think, and live their lives • Informed Choices • Learning about sociology of sport will help you make intelligent choices about your own participation • Transforming Sport • Making schools and communities more inclusive through sports
Why study Sociology of Sport? • Sport is related to all aspects of a society • Learning about the sociology of sport teaches about the society • Ideology – a combination of ideal, beliefs and attitudes • Dominant ideology – the combination promoted by the dominant and powerful groups of a society
Gender Ideology • Sports first developed around an ideology of gender • A gender logic that existed in the dominant culture • Gender logic worked to the advantage of men • Gender logic was referred to a common sense • The basic tenet of gender logic: • Women are naturally inferior to men! • In strength • Physical skill • Emotional control • Intelligence
Gender Ideology (2) • The dominant ideology led to a sport vocabulary supporting the gender logic • Correct throw ( like a man) • Incorrect throw (like a girl) • Coaches use the logic to motivate players • “you are playing like a bunch of girls.” • Gender logic serves to privilege boys • Gender logic creates discrimination against girls in sport • The gender logic has also spilled over into all social life • politics • business • There is also race logic, class logic, and character logic
Sport and Family • Sport has major impacts of family life • Millions of children are involved in sport • Parents organize, coach, attend games and drive children to events • Changing patterns of youth involvement in sport result in changing patterns of family life
Sport and the Economy • The economies of most countries are affected heavily by sport participation • Tax dollars are used to contribute to the success of sport in communities and most countries • Per capita income at the end of the 20th century was about $4000, but some athletes were making $30 million per year in salary
Sport and Politics • Sport is link to national pride • Politicians promote themselves by association with sport teams and players • Athletes are frequently elected to political office on the basis of athletic participation • Jack Kemp • Steve Largent
Sport and Education • Sport teams in High Schools usually attract more attention than academic events • Sport are the most prominent representative of colleges • The success or failure of the institution is sometimes connected to success in sport
Sport and Religion • Religious rituals are increasingly used in sport participation in the USA • Large nondenominational organizations have been created for the purpose of converting young athletes to a religious ideology (Christian Athletes) • Churches sponsor athletic events • Churches alter schedules to accommodate sporting events
Sociology of Sport Theory • The basic tenets of Functionalism • Social order is based on consensus and shared values • Consensus about shared values is what holds society together, reducing conflict • All social systems tend toward a state of balance and equilibrium
Functionalism’s Main Social Concern • Functionalism is concerned with how social systems (like Sport) contribute to the needs of the society • How does sport contribute to the smooth operation of society?
Functionalism and the Study of Sport • How does sport fit into the social life and contribute to social stability? • How does sport participation influence personal development?
Functionalism’s Perception of Sport • Sport is a valuable social institution that benefits society and individuals • Sport is a source of inspiration on both the personal and social levels of society
The Policy Implication of Functionalism • Develop and expand sport programs that will promote traditional values • Expand programs that promote positive character development • Expand programs that contribute to the stability of society
Criticisms of Functionalist Theory • Overstates the positive consequences • Overlooks the negative • Ignores the unequal participation rates for all sports • Ignores the social construction of sport in society • Ignores the diversity in sport • Ignores the extent to which sport promotes the interest of wealth and power
Conflict Theory and Sport • The basic tenets of Conflict Theory are: • Social order is based on coercion and exploitation, not consensus • Order is the result of economic power and the use of economic power to exploit labor • Social class shapes the social structure of society and the social relationships in society
Conflict Theory’s Major Social Concerns • How is economic power distributed and used in society? • What are the dynamics of social class relations? • Who is privileged and exploited in class relations?
Conflict Theory and the Study of Sport • How does sport reflect class relations? • How is sport used to maintain the interests of those with power and wealth in society? • How has the profit motive distorted sport?
Conflict Theory and the Perception of Sport • Sport is a form of physical activity that is distorted by the needs of capital. • Sport is an opiate that distracts attention away from the social problems created by economic exploitation.
The Policy Implication of Conflict Theory • Eliminate the profit motive in sport • Equalized participation through program expansion and participation • Allow the participation in sport to be a source of physical well-being
Criticism of Conflict Theory • Overstates the influence of economic interests • Assumes that those with economic wealth shape sports to meet economic interests • Ignores sport as a liberating experience
Critical Theory and Sport • The basic tenets of Critical Theory are: • Social order is negotiated through struggles over ideology and power • Social life is full of diversity, complexity, and contradictions
Critical Theory’s Major Social Concerns • How is cultural ideology produced, reproduced, and transformed? • What are the conflicts and problems that affect the lives of those who lack power in society?
Critical Theory and Sport • How are power relations reproduced and/or resisted in and through sport? • Whose voices are and are not represented in the narratives and images that constitute sport?
Critical Theory and the Perception of Sport • Sports are social constructions • Sports are sites where culture is produced, reproduced, and transformed • Sports are cultural practices that repress and/or empower people
The Policy Implication of Critical Theory • Use sports as sites for challenging and transforming forms exploitation and oppression • Increase the range and diversity of sport participation • Challenge the voices and perspectives of those with power in sport
Criticisms of Critical Theory • No way to identify forms of resistance • No strategy of dealing with problems, conflicts, and injustice in sports
Feminist Theory and Sport • The basic tenets of Feminist Theory are: • Social order is based primarily on the values, experiences, and interests of men with power • Social life and social order are gendered
Feminist Theory and the Study of Sport • How are sports gendered activities? • How do sports reproduce the dominant gender logic of society? • What are the strategies for resisting and transforming sport forms that privilege men?
The Policy Implications of Feminist Theory • Use sports as sites for challenging and transforming oppressive forms of gender relations • Expose and resist all expressions of homophobia and misogyny (hatred of women) in sport • Transform sports to emphasize partnerships over competition and domination
Criticisms of Feminist Theory • No way to identify forms of resistance • No attention to gender and other categories of experience (i.e. childhood games and play)
Interaction Theory and Sport • The basic tenet of Interaction Theory is: • Social order is created from the bottom up through intentional interaction
Interaction Theory’s Major Social Concerns • How are meanings, identities, and culture created through social interaction? • How do people become involved in sports, become defined as athletes, and move out of sports into the rest of their lives?
Interaction Theory and the Perception of Sport • Sports are forms of culture created through social interaction. • Sport participation is grounded in the decisions made by people in connection with their identities and their relationships.
The Policy Implications of Interaction Theory • Allow individuals to shape sport to fit their social reality. • Make sport organization more democratic and less hierarchical. • Focus on the culture and organization of sport, rather than individual athletes when trying to control deviance in sport.
Criticisms of the Interaction Theory of Sport • Fails to explain how the meaning of sport is connected to individual identity. • Ignores issues of social power in sport.
Sport in Society: Studying the Past Issues & Controversies
General Historical Issues • Physical activities and games have existed in nearly all cultures • There are decreasing contrasts between the games that different people play today • Decreasing contrasts are due to cultural diffusion and the power and influence of sponsoring corporations
Historical & Cultural Variations Variations exist because: • Sports are cultural practices that can serve a variety of social purposes • Sports are created within the constraints of the social world
Ancient Greece Sports were: • Grounded in mythology • Linked with religious beliefs • Characterized by: • Gender exclusion • Frequent violence • Absence of administrative structures • Absence of measurements & record keeping
Roman Contests and Games • Emphasized spectacle, combat, and the power of political leaders • Characterized by • Diversions for the masses • Exclusion of women as athletes • Absence of quantification and record keeping
Medieval Europe • Folk games played by peasants • Tournaments played by elite for purposes of military readiness • Gender restrictions grounded in religious dogma and beliefs • Games lacked specialization and organization
Renaissance, Reformation, & Enlightenment • Increasing control over peasants • Lives of many were restricted by labor • Calvinist and Puritan beliefs did not promote any forms of leisure • Games constituted diversions for people
Characteristics of Play • Individual effort is separate from others • Action and behavior are free and spontaneous • Uncertainty is a dominant feature • Without “fixed” rules and no time limit on play
Characteristics of Game • Competition is a key factor in involvement • Outcome determined by physical or mental skill, but strategy and chance have a large role • Time is not a relevant factor in involvement
Characteristics of Sport • Activity is ritualized, with spontaneity diminished • Formal rules, structure of roles, and time limitations • Individual liability and responsibility for behavior and outcome • Outcome extends beyond the bounds of the activity • Individual time is required for practice and mastery