Social Class And Its Impact On Society Essay

Social Class And Its Impact On Society Essay

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Social class is defined as categories of people who share a place in society based on their wealth, education, occupation, earnings and social connections. (Coakley and Pike, 2009, pp. 350 – 351). People in a certain social class are also perceived to achieve similar life opportunities for accomplishing status, power and economic success in society. Sport is portrayed to civilisation as open to everyone; every person in the country can achieve success if they put hard work into it. Nonetheless, money for the resources and coaching to achieve great sporting status has to come from somewhere, consequently meaning that athletes with a higher social class who will receive individual resources from families, government, individuals or organisations will excel in their sport in oppose to athletes with a lower socio-economic background with less material resources. (Coakley and Pike, 2009)

Bourdieu (1978) defined cultural capital as shared preferences and cultural signals used for social exclusion, gained from an individual’s upbringing and education. His theory that dominant classes use sport in exclusive venues to distance themselves from others is seen to be correct, as sports such as tennis, golf, horse racing, skiing etc. require both leisure time and money, something which those in the ‘upper class’ band of society will seemingly have more of than those defined as ‘lower class’. Tennis and racing are portrayed in the media as a sport that even royals attend, and with expensive spectating prices, it makes it even more difficult for people in the working class band to involve themselves in; they are just left to watch the sport on television. Even in Football; a sport that appeals to all classes in society, the upper class and lowe...


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... paid coaches, and more access to sports clubs out of school time where parents can drive them to and from. However, this doesn’t mean that children from working class backgrounds are less likely to succeed in sport, with provisions such as Sporting Chance, Street Games and School Games, there are opportunities in place for success that any child can achieve.

Sport reflects the values and norms of society. In all capitalist societies, social class influences who participates, who spectates and what sporting news is broadcasted in the media. Patterns of sports participation found in many research studies, whether it is participation or spectating are all closely connected by money and power, and will be seen to be for many years. (Donnelly and Harvey, 2007). In short, the more money and influence a person has in their society, the more accessible sports are to you.

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