DVD: Sociology of Sports in the United States
by Castalia Media
Featuring (in order of initial appearance):
Dr. Karen Weiller, Assoc. Professor of Kinesiology
Dr. James Frey, Professor of Sociology
Dr. Audwin Adnerson, Assoc. professor of Sociology
Dr. Jay Coakley, Professor of Sociology
Dr. Carole Oglesby, Chairperson, Dept. of Kinesiology
Dr. John Massengale, Professor of Sport Studies
Dr, Tamela Saldana, Professor African-American Studies
Dr. Jan Harris, Director of Kinesiology and Nutritional Science
Dr. George Sage, Professor Emeritus of Kinesiology & Sociology
Dr. Stan Eitzen, Emeritus Professor of Sociology
Vince Lombardi, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
Sports are not an island unto themselves – they are a reflection of our morays, attitudes and values.
There is no reason to think that sport is a separate, distinct, unique, entity, unlike other social institutions.
Sport is very much like other social institutions, and there is no reason to assume it will not continue to be
The history of sport is more of a history of exclusion rather than inclusion.
Sports serve as sites to emphasize certain kinds of values and perspectives on life and for example
People take those kinds of things from sports and apply them to the rest of their lives.
Sport when rightly conducted can be a very positive aspect of society, so we utilize our research to
determine what is the right conduct of sport.
Sport has been as effective in social change as anything we have in our society.
Sports can tell us a lot about various social phenomena such as drug issues, race issues and gender inequities
in our society.
A very small proportion of athletes ever get to the professional ranks and sometimes youngsters put all their
eggs in that one basket and forget about education and forget about other areas.
Much of sport has become no more than a capitalistic enterprise, a profit making enterprise.
Money is the driver of sports in our society, whether it is professional or amateur.
Foundations of the Sociology of Sports
Throughout history there has been a close connection between the sports and games of a society and the
values emphasized by that society.
Sport is a reflection of society and social values in that it can bring clarity to what our values are. Our values
on democracy, our values on egalitarianism, our value on the notion of merit, achievement, competition.
I think of sport as a microcosm of society. We can look at the way the sport is organized, what it
emphasizes, what its rules are, how it’s controlled, and we can get evidence, we can get some clues about
the larger society.
You could go to Australia, other societies look at their sports teams, how they’re
organized, spend a few months looking at that and you’d have a pretty good clue about how the society is
In a society like the United States, which is capitalist, that’s market driven, what we find is the values that