Social Culture In Sport

1951 Words8 Pages
Sports are a part of the social and cultural contexts in which we live. They change overtime and reflect the history and culture of certain societies. Sports have become a large part of our society, in the recreational and the professional sense. The traditional definition of sports according to Coakley and Donnelly (2009:4) “are institutionalized competitive activities that involve rigorous physical exertion or the use of relatively complex physical skills by participants monitored by internal and external rewards”. Sports, as a part of our society, are social constructions, that is, they are given meaning by people as they interact with each other under the social, political, and economic conditions that exist in their society (Coakley and Donnelly 2009:14). Due to the prominence and reverence of sport in our society, acts that are perceived as deviant in certain social situations are accepted in the realm of sport. Since athletes are held in such high graces in society, they internalize an extreme sense of self-confidence, defined as hubris, and they believe themselves to be “separate from and above the rest of the community” (Coakley and Donnelly 2009:160). Thus, since athletes believe they are above society, they believe that they can violate norms and commit deviant acts without consequence. As well, spectators of sports see these athletes committing these acts and attempt to mimic the behaviour that is being displayed. Sport is a product of culture and is intended to promote positive outcomes for the individual and society. Unfortunately the realm of sport has become tainted through deviant acts committed by coaches, athletes, administration, and even fans, which has led to sport becoming a threat to our society. Athletes ... ... middle of paper ... ...nce as the norm. On the field violence is considered normative due to the entertainment factor of sports and off the field this violence would be considered deviant. Spectator violence is also deviant and has come to be a moral panic due to the inflammation of its representation in the media. As well, gambling has become prominent in sports through players and spectators. Lastly, school athletics are deviant as they are allowing athletes to have privilege and an unfair advantage over other students. According to Dziubinski (2009:157), “Deviant behaviour in sport can be regarded as a sign that the socialisation process is failing”. These behaviours are shared by society and are seen outside of athletics due to the prominence of sport in our society. Ultimately, sports are posing a threat to our social order due to the deviant acts that are seen, or unseen in them.
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