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Sport history - Sociology 399 Sociology Studying the Past...

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Unformatted text preview: Sociology 399 Sociology Studying the Past Looking Back Looking Coakley and Donnelly argue that it is important to examine sports in the past in order to properly interpret the present. Looking at the ancient Greeks, the Romans, Europe in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution, they seek to demonstrate that our understanding of sports depends upon what we know about the social lives of those who created them. Prehistoric Times Prehistoric The sports we know today do not look like those of the past. Physical activities in prehistoric times were tied to survival and the expression of religious beliefs. They likely involved acting out events deemed sacred. The Greeks The Grounded in mythology. Held in conjunction with festivals that combined prayer, sacrifices, religious services, music, dancing and ritual feasts. Participants were from the upper classes. Chariot racing, wrestling, boxing, javelin, discus, foot racing, archery, and long jumping. Prohibited women from participation. Deemed brutal by Greek philosophers. The Romans The Sports were used to train soldiers and create entertainment. Circuses and gladiatorial combat. Chariot racing was popular. They achieved two purposes: 1. Entertainment. 2. Disposed of “undesirables”. The Middle Ages The Peasant folk games. Tournaments of knights and nobles. Archery contests and activities in which animals were brutalized. Religion and sport became increasingly connected. Ball games were the roots for soccer, field hockey, football, rugby, bowling, curling, baseball, and cricket. Games were class­based. Women rarely participated, although they did engage in “ladylike” activities. The Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment and The Renaissance held the “scholar­athlete to be ideal. Upper­class women participated in bowling, croquet, archery, and tennis. They were considered inferior to men. The Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment II and During the Protestant Reformation, sports were held in low regard. Work was valorized. Sports were trivial endeavors. The Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment III and Sports played during the Enlightenment more closely resemble what we are familiar with. There was an increasing separation between religion and sport. Sport become institutionalized. They were still considered leisurely activities and diversions. The Industrial Revolution The The clergy endorsed “blue laws”. It is inaccurate to suggest that sports are the product of the Industrial Revolution. Sport existed despite the Industrial Revolution, not because of it. – The working classes were usually spectators as they were unable to participate. The Industrial Revolution II The The later years. Rationality and organization led to sports clubs. Membership was usually reserved for the wealthy. Some participation by women. A rapidly expanding middle­class brought order, seriousness, and regulation (the rational recreationist). Sports leagues were formed. The Industrial Revolution III The The period 1880­1920 was instrumental for sports formation. Although involvement was unequally distributed, this was a period marked by increased participation generally. The Industrial Revolution IV The Since the 1920s, several questions remain. 1. The meaning, purpose, and organization of sports. 2. Who plays sports under what conditions. 3. How and why sports are sponsored. Conclusion Conclusion Sports are social constructions. They are not natural. They are stratified along gender, class, and ‘racial’ lines. Religion has had an important effect upon them. Sport does not just happen. ...
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