Assignment # 2
Title: Sociology of Sport
Sociology is the study of human behavior and social interactions within particular contents. Sports sociology examines sports as a part of cultural and social life, and adds a different dimension and perspective to the study of sports and exercise. More specifically, sports sociology examines the relationship between sports and society and seeks answers to many issues and questions regarding sports and culture. Sports are a pervasive part of culture and are considered to be social constructions within society created by groups of individuals and based on ...view middle of the document...
Gender refers to the “female and male differences created by social, cultural, historical and political expectations about behaviour, interests, abilities and attitudes to men and women in sport”. Throughout history, society has clearly defined the roles that men and women were expected to play. In these roles, men were seen as both physically and mentally stronger, and women were seen as more gentle, caring and physically and mentally weaker than men. A man participating in sports which demonstrates grace and elegance were not, and to some extent, is still not considered to be what society terms “norm”. Because of this, male athletes can be placed under pressure to succeed so that they can maintain an image of masculinity. For example, one of the most commonly used insults is to say that “so-and-so throws like a girl” or “so-and-so runs like a girl.” Poor male performance in sports is compared with a female’s natural performance.
The relationship between sports and the economy cannot be overlooked as we examine the other social institutions within society. The money spent by the consumers on tickets, concessions, club fees, membership dues, sports equipment and clothing, and gambling has a direct effect on the economy. The amount of money spent in any particular city on the weekend of a college or professional game ranges from millions to billions, because spectators spend money on hotel rooms, food, travel expenses, souvenirs, and other forms of entertainment over the span of 2 to 3 days. Corporations seem to have ever-increasing budgets for advertising and sponsorship of sporting events, particularly the Olympic Games; an advertiser may spend millions of dollars to have its name associated with such an event.
Religion and Sports
Religion and sports might be considered an unusual combination, but the concept offers some interesting comparisons. As individuals attempt to explain sports and religion as similar to or different from each other, the comparisons show that both institutions are cultural practices in our society; there may well exist the practice of religion in sports and/or the practice of sports within religion, but saying that they are the same sparks debate.
Similarities and differences between sports and religion need to be determined before any conclusion can be drawn. It is agreed that both sports and religion have places for communal gathering; drama is linked to both settings; there is a hierarchical structure in both sports and religion; they both have special celebratory days, heroes and saints, choirs, hymns, chants, sermons, joining of hands, and revered objects; and there are special ceremonies within both realms. Both of these institutions emphasize self-sacrifice.
Comparisons, however, need careful consideration.
Christian organizations such as Athletes in Action or Jocks for Jesus, for example, do attempt to combine sports and religion, but some professional athletes have admitted to using such...