Deviance in the World of Sports

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There have been many studies geared towards sports, and sports violence or deviance. Many theorists contemplate what causes athletes to be violent. Within sports there are various types of violence such as player on player, coach and fan violence. When professional athletes act violently on or off the field it leaves an impression on the viewers in our world of entertainment. There are many forms of deviance in sports. Professional sports are valued greatly in our entertainment industry. When professionals act violently, those watching will mimic those same violent acts. Without a doubt, teenagers and children are watching professional sports. Yong adults will model what they see professionals do on television and this modeling behavior is known as the social learning theory. “According to Aronson, Wilson and Akert (1999), social learning theory holds that individuals learn social behavior by first observing others then go on to model or imitate what they have seen.” One experiment was conducted by Albert Bandura in the early 1960’s. Bandura had children watch adults hit, kick, and yell at a plastic air-filled doll known as Bobo. After the adults were done modeling these aggressive behaviors, the children then had the opportunity to be in the room with the Bobo doll. These children imitated the aggressive models and treated the doll in an abusive manner. Children who were in the control group condition, who did not see the aggressive adult did not use aggressive means to control the doll. Based on this social learning theory professionals should try their best to suppress their anger and not act violently on and off the court because they are modeling inappropriate behaviors for our future generation.
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