Sport is a basic component of New Zealand society. Sport ranges from elite to recreational activities, from physically demanding to relaxing pursuits, and sporting involvement from active participation to passive spectatorship. Most of the involvement takes place in a social context, and it is associated with all principle cultural institutions. Schools promote interschool and interschool sport- eg Wednesday sport Sponsoring sports teams, using athletes to sell non- sports products. Societal concerns, such as violence and drugs are also manifested in sport, as are societys inequalities and prejudices.
Definitions Sociology: A social science concerned with the study of society, social institutions, and all human relationships Sociology of sport: A branch of sociology dealing with the place of sport in society; that is, with the inter- relationship between sport and other social components
Sport and Politics Most people would agree that politics should have no place in sport, but sport and politics have become inter- twined. Increasingly, governments around the world have involved themselves more and more in sport. Today there are many organisations, that are governed by the government controlling aspects of sport in our society. Sport is a major promo of national presentation and a large form of revenue collection. Examples of this.
Violence and Competitive Sport Aggression and violence in sport are not new. Sport throughout the ages has involved violence and brutality, and sometimes genocide. For example the gladiators in Ancient Rome, and all forms of sport hunting in Medieval Britain. In modern sports such as rugby, soccer and hockey all have their origins in Medieval Britain. Compared to their medieval times these modern games are timed in comparison. Acts of individual or collective violence can involve injury (physical or psychological), damage to property, and, at worst, death.
The level of violence in physical activity increases as the activity moves along the play/ competitive continuum. It is not that the sport becomes more violent as it becomes more competitive it is the pressure and important that is put on the sport that leads to the potential for violence. This violence is manifested off the field, among the fans. British soccer hooliganism, and the recent Australian rugby league competition are prime examples of this. Violence in sport is a complex and far- reaching social problem that can not be explained in simple generalisations such as: Violent game, violent crowd. Some understanding however can be gained through the 3 main components- the combat ethos, intrinsic violence and spectator violence.
Drugs in Sport An essential feature of sport is the willingness of athletes to accept the rules that govern both the administration and the conduct of the sport in which they choose to participate. These rules refer not only to the athletes equipment, but also to their own bodies. A drug is any substance, organic or inorganic, that can effect a change in the metabolism of an organism. In sport, drugs can be used either to reduce or to enhance an athletes potential by influencing his or her body functions, growth, or ability to be trained.
Amateurism & Professionalism in Sport The complex nature of sport is obvious from the fact that in modern society it is considered a form or work – a concept that is in contrat to the traditional view of sport as being nothing but play.
Sponsorship Sport has become a very marketable commodity. Sport has become a viable business venture. The opportunity to make a profit has enticed individuals and corporations to invest their money in sports clubs, sports leagues and individual athletes, which are then managed as business enterprises. Companies have turned to sports, with their positive and wholesome public image, to help boost the sales of their products. Athletes cannot only get paid by performing in their chosen field but they can also earn large sums of money through individual sponsorship. Eg Daniel Carter is paid by the NZRU but also makes extra money through work for jockey and other organisations.
Sport and Religion Sport and religion have certain similarities. In both, there are temples, even high priests, rituals, miracles, notions of immortality, and judgement. There are also worshippers and fanatic believers, pilgrimages, mysticism and prayers. But sport is not a religion, as in Anglicanism or Catholicism. It is more of a civil or secular religion.
Sporting Ritual –Ritual is central to both religion and sport. In religion, a certain day might be set aside for worship with perhaps no food, attendance at a specific time, and other requirements. –In sport, too, the players have their rituals. They might follow exact routines on the day of a game; the NZ team might perform the haka; another team might link arms. –There are also temples in/of sports. A father might take his young child on a pilgrimage to the MCG. –Mysticism is also deeply embedded in sport, with the belief that supernatural forces affect the outcome of a game. –There are also times of Symbolism such as losing representing death or the feelings of fate, of Destiny such as We were meant to win; or It was our time.
Inequalities in Sport Inequalities have been found in the past and can still be found today in sport. Inequalities such as the role of women in sport, the role of different ethnic groups, and issues arising for disabled athletes. These inequalities also bring to the forefront how these groups are represented in sport and how they were and sometimes are still viewed/ seen.