The Importance of Sports

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Think of society as a living organism which every part of it contributes to its survival. This view is the functionalist perspective, which every parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability. Functionalist regard sports as an almost religious institution that uses ritual and ceremony to reinforce the common values of a society. In 1968, Robert Merton made an important distinction between manifest and latent functions. Manifest functions of institutions are open, stated, conscious functions that involve intended, recognized, consequences of an aspect of society. Taking sports as an example, manifest function of sports is to keep people stay fit and healthy. It is an objective that widely and well known by everyone. In contrast, latent functions are unconscious or unintended functions that may reflect hidden purposes of an institution. For example, someone who takes part and involve in sport might intend to gain popularity. It is something that only known by the party or the person himself. Besides manifest function and latent function, sociologists define dysfunction as an element or process of a society that may actually disrupt the social system or reduce its stability. Dysfunctions of sports include the usage of performance-enhancing drug by athlete. It does not contribute in maintaining the society’s stability. From the view of manifest function, sports could help in maintaining people’s physical well-being. Everyone knows that exercise is a good way in maintaining a person health. Practice sport on a regular basis could keep us fit, thus prevent obesity which would lead to diseases like heart attack, diabetes and stroke. With regular badminton play, the main health benefit that we could earn is the reduction ... ... middle of paper ... ...omote an overall feeling of unity and social solidarity. Besides that, it provides sport lovers a great platform to exchange their ideas with one another. It feels nice and wonderful when everyone with the same interest and the same supporting team gathers together in a stadium. Moreover, when it comes to sport, racialism would no longer exist. Everyone will focus on the same goal to win and to achieve victory, no matter who you are, where you from or what is your race. For example, when our national badminton player, Datuk Lee Chong Wei, managed to get the first silver in the Olympic game for our country, everyone cheered for him. The whole country was so excited about it. Although he is a Chinese, the Malays and Indians were cheered for him too. Everyone gets united. Prove that through sports, we can promote peace. People can get along harmony and avoid conflict.

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