Week 2 - Defining Social Theory o

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Soc. 505 Fall 2019 Midterm Study Guide Week 1 - What sport sociologist do: o examine critically the role, function, and meaning of sport in the lives of people and the societies they form; o describe and explain the emergence and diffusion of sport over time and across different societies; o investigate the values and norms of dominant, emergent, and residual cultures and subcultures in sport; o examine the way in which sport responds to social changes in the larger society; and o contribute both to the knowledge base of sociology more generally and also to the formation of policy that seeks to ensure that global sport processes are less wasteful of lives and resources. o we explore how the exercise of power and the stratified nature of societies place limits and possibilities on people’s involvement and success in sport as performers, officials, spectators, workers, or consumers; o So essentially we do a lot of things that regular sociologists to but we do it by looking at different issues in sports. o Examples include doping and PEDs, concussions and their effects on athletes and their teammates and families, both during and after their playing days, looking at mega- events and their impacts on the communities that host them, the role of race and gender in sport, the influence of new technologies and data science (money ball, corsi), - When sport sociology emerged as a discipline o Two major organizations (NASSS and ISSA) started to “to promote, stimulate, and encourage the sociological study of play, games, sport and contemporary physical culture” in 1980 and 1965 respectively o All kinds of academic journals, conferences and books have been written in the discipline o Sociology of sport classes and Socio-cultural dimensions of sport in Kinesiology programs are really popular Week 2 - Defining Social Theory o A social theory is: discourse involving an explicit attempt to develop sets of relatively rigorously defined and compatible concepts to describe and analyze society into its elements. o These include the complex, sometimes seemingly chaotic, interactions by people and institutions that, along with other social relations o It also seeks to decide if they differ in their significance o Social Theory seeks to understand the nature of these elements - all are not equally available to and are not always easy to see-and how they relate to each other, and to society as a whole
o (like class relations and modes of production); a society’s dynamic density; process of rationalization-together constitute ‘society’ . - Gramsci o the ways in which dominant groups maintain intellectual and moral leadership and seek to win the consent of subordinate groups in society o Juxtapose “a nation that loves sports cannot revolt” with o The whole capitalist class profits by a system that keeps workers excitedly interested in trivial matters remote from true concerns . . . The brain-numbing narcotic of the sporting page is perhaps more deadly to the average worker than the more active poison of the editorial page o Coercion vs. consent o

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