Sociology of sports - 1/29/08 Chapter 1: The sociology of...

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1/29/08 Chapter 1: The sociology of sport 1. Introduction The sociology of sport is a sub discipline of sociology of sociology it focuses on the behavior of individuals and groups within sport and also the role of sport in society. Whereas sport psychology studies various mental processes inside individuals; sport sociology focuses on external social participants. The sociology of sport has a strong commitment toward objective analysis of the institution of sports. As a social institution, sport is characterized by regulation formalization, ideological justification and the transmission of culture. 2. Why do we study sport? To ignore the sports world is to ignore one of the most significant social institutions found in societies around the world. Sports are a major part of many people’s lives. Sport participation provides opportunities for intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and is an excellent way to help develop a physically fit body. No other institution, except perhaps, religion commands the mystique, the nostalgia, the romantic idealism, cultural fixation that sport does. No other activity combines the serious w/ the frivolous; playfulness w/ intensity and the ideological w/ the structural (Frey and Eitcon, 1991). Athletics and sports settings provide ideal subject matter for studying individual and group interaction as well as structural components of organized sports. Sport often serves as a positive diversion from the negative aspects of life by providing people w/ a temporary “escape” from the mundane, sometimes monotonous and painful elements in ones personal and or social life. 1/31/08
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We study sports because of its pervasiveness in society. Consider some of the following points: - Newspapers in most cities devote entire sections of their daily editions to the coverage of sport. The USA Today, the Newspaper w/ the highest circulation in the U.S., allocates 25% of its coverage on sports. In general, newsprint on sport in N. America usually surpasses the space given to the economy, politics, the environment, or any other single topic of interest. - There were 527 sport talk stations in the US in 2007 w/ 14m Listeners nationwide per week (65% are men in the 25-54 age bracket) (source: Espn’s “outside the Lines” June 2,2007) - Every local television news program devotes at least a portion of its newscast on reporting sporting events from w/in its own community and nationally. - A # of couples have named their children after the 24-hour sports channel, ESPN… - During “states of Emergency” (eg. The 9/11 attacks, hurricane) sports are now cancelled b/c they seem unimportant. - It is common for popular athlete to have such things as food items (eg. Candy bars and Cereal), clothing, items, and/or high school ball fields named after them. -
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 340 taught by Professor Forgot during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Oswego.

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Sociology of sports - 1/29/08 Chapter 1: The sociology of...

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