Essay: Sports Sociology Sports Played

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[. . .] Often this approach assumes that socio-economic standing is based on what people can afford to do. For instance there are many sports, such as polo or even golf that require a great outlay of money in order to participate in and therefore are limited to those with higher incomes. Thus certain activities or sports are reserved for certain subsets rather than the general population. This includes attending certain sporting events. Thus, viewing or participating in certain sports reflects one's economic or social standing. In addition, most high-paid coaches tend to be white; there is an ethnic split in sports. The feminist approach extends this social conflict to gender and a micro-level approach (Eckstein et al., 2010). Sports teams need to be divided between sexes as women would be unfairly treated in contact sports or sports where they lack the same strength and stamina as men. Sports that are more equal, such as race car driving or target shooting have been traditionally segregated as well. Women should, but often do not, value their femininity over these activities that are traditionally considered male activities. Moreover, women's sports do not receive the same amount importance or prestige form the media as male sports.

3. The Symbolic-Interaction approach is a micro level approach that views society as a product of daily interactions between individuals. A symbol is anything that has particular meaning for a group or culture (Giulianotti, 2005). In this paradigm the focus is on individual interactions, completion, prejudices, etc. So instead of focusing on teams, or sports effects on society as a whole, this approach assumes that sports serve a different function for each player. For example, one person may be motivated by competition or success, while another individual loves the game for its own merits. These individual motivations will often change over time.

With respect to sports sociology, the functionalist paradigm can actually be viewed as subsuming the conflict paradigm, whereas the interactionist paradigm delves more into the psychological motivations and effects of sports. Thus, from a sociological standpoint Eckstein et al. (2010) suggest that the functionalist paradigm is more useful as an overall approach. I agree. However, micro-level views need to be synthesized in order to fully understand how sports affect society and the individual.

References

Bourdieu, P. (1990). In other words. Cambridge: Polity.

Eckstein, R., Moss, D.M., & Delaney, D.J. (2010). Sports sociology's still untapped potential. Sociological Forum, 25(3), 500-518.

Giulianotti, R. (2005). Sport: A critical sociology. Malden, MA:… [END OF PREVIEW]

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