Social theories-1 - Sociology 399 Using Social Theories...

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Unformatted text preview: Sociology 399 Using Social Theories Sport According to Donnelly and Coakley, sociologists who study sports are interested in four things: 1. Social and cultural contexts in which sports exist. 2. Connections between those contexts and sports. 3. The social worlds created by sports. 4. The experiences of participants. Why Use Social Theory? Sport can be understood without social theories. Indeed, most people do have their own ideas about sports without ever drawing upon social theories. Most likely, many of the respondents in this study generated their own ideas without considering sociological theories. Why Use Social Theory? II Sociologists will use theory to guide their studies. Theories provide frameworks for asking research questions, interpreting information, and uncovering the deeper meanings and stories associated with sports. Why Use Social Theory? III At times, the research process refutes hypotheses generated by the observer. In these cases, theories are either revised or abandoned. Functionalism Functionalism is a type of order theory. That is, it seeks to identify the sources of social order. Durkheim (1858­1917) believed that society was held together by a normative order. Major Scholarly Publications The Division of Labour in Society 1893 Rules of Sociological Method 1895 Suicide 1897 1912 The Elementary Forms of Religious Life Functionalism II Society is based upon consensus and is generally in a state of equilibrium. Social institutions tend to ensure that harmony prevails. He was aware, however, that some societies exhibited anomic divisions of labour. That is, disorder could prevail when institutions failed to address social problems. Functionalism III Those using functionalism to study sport tend to seek out the functions of sport. Often tend to conclude that sport contributes to social stability. They often argue that sports programmes should be expanded. Functionalism IV Functionalism does not acknowledge that sports are social constructions. Functionalists often concentrate on the positive impacts of sports and do not focus on the negative effects. It ignores the generation of hierarchies in sports. Conflict Theory Marx lived from 1818­ 1883. He believed that in order to understand human behaviour, scholars needed to examine the context of capitalism. Major Scholarly Publications The German Ideology Manifesto of the Communist Party 1845 1848 1867 Das Kapital Conflict Theory II Capitalism was increasingly creating two very different social classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Because wealth is derived through the production process and these two classes contract with each other on unequal bases, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Conflict Theory III Social change is at the heart of conflict theory. They often point out how the needs of capital are served in sport. Commercialization. Conflict theorists wish to eliminate the profit motive in sport. Conflict Theory IV Ignores the positive effects that sports have on individuals and society. Concentrates too heavily on economic forces. Does not acknowledge the limitations of capital. Critical Theory Michel Foucault was born in 1926 and died in 1984. He believed that Marx paid too much attention to economic/material forces and ended up ignoring ideological influences. He spent much time addressing cultural and ideological factors. Major Scholarly Publications The Order of Things Discipline and Punish The History of Sexuality 1966 1977 1984 Critical Theory II Critical theorists tend to be wary of claims to “truth”. They are interested in how cultural ideology is produced, reproduced, and transformed. Resistance. Sport represses and empowers. Critical Theory III As sports are sites of hegemonic control and reproduction, they are excellent for challenging unequal power relations. Critical Theory IV Critical theories are often inaccessible because of jargon. See Sokal Affair/Hoax. Difficult to assess the effectiveness of various forms of resistance. Feminist Theory There are many different types of feminism. It is inaccurate to refer to feminism as one approach to social behaviour. Liberal, radical, socialist, postmodern feminisms etc. Feminists disagree with each other on many issues. Feminist Theory II Although there are disagreements on important issues, they tend to agree that there exists patriarchy which has negative effects upon women. They are interested in how gender ideology is produced, reproduced, and transformed. They are also interested in how resistance to hegemonic gender structures takes place. Examples? Feminist Theory III Chris Evert is a professional female tennis star who retired in 1989. Jim Everett played for several teams in the NFL. His promising career came to an end after being sacked several times in 1989. “Phantom sack.” Here is his interview with Jim Rome. Feminist Theory IV Feminists have drawn attention to the intersections of social class, age, race, ethnicity, sex, and gender, but they have been slow to theorize these connections. Interactionism Cooley. The looking­glass self. Significant others. Our self­concept is affected by the reactions of those around us including agents of socialization. Interactionism II Mead was one of the founders of social psychology. He was interested in the development of the social self. Three aspects of the social self include: “Me” – The objective component. We perceive ourselves from the standpoint of others. “I” – The subjective component. This is the active component that initiates action. “Generalized other” – This is how we internalize societal norms. Interactionism III Egocentric stage – Inability to take on the role of others. Imitative stage – Simply imitate others (doctors, police etc). Play stage – Actually adopt social roles (imaginative). Game stage – Child gains an understanding of social expectations and rules. Interactionism IV The dramaturgical approach. Goffman suggested that we are all actors in a play. We are given roles and scripts and we put on a role performance. Our true selves are on back stage; performances on front stage. Interactionism V In the sociology of sport, interactionsists are concerned with how people become involved in sport. How do they generate their sports identities? Interationists believe that meaning is constructed through interaction with others, and it is always undergoing modification. Interactionism VI … There are a few serious ones from back in the day that I remember which is probably the worst moment for me playing hockey. I got hit from about 3 feet from the boards and went in head first, tore both muscles in my back, and my legs went numb and were tingling. And, like I couldn’t move my legs at all. And, so I just freaked. I am lying there and I just got hit, went head first into the boards, and couldn’t breath. Because, when I pulled my muscles, my rib cage had come loose. It was not being held tight. So, I couldn’t breathe, everything was all mangled. But, I remember after I got hit, and I looked over and the highest scorer on our team, a goal scorer, a scrawny little kid, chased the kid down and started beating him. Because it was a cheap play, and that one sticks out in my mind, because never would you think you would see a big guy on your team, a big goal scorer, that are not known to fight. But, that is when you fight, when something like that happens... Interactionism VII Interactionists examine how sports identities are formed from the micro­ sociological level. They are criticized for not spending enough attention on structural forces at the macro­sociological level. It also tends to offer few suggestions for positive social change. Conclusion Theories are tools we use to pose questions about human behaviour. They provide frameworks to pose questions and suggest ways to obtain answers. ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2010 for the course ECON 303 taught by Professor Tracey during the Spring '08 term at University of Calgary.

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