Presentation on theme: "Sport Issues: Sports as a Reflection of Society. 2 Definitions Modern sport is a reflection of our society –e.g., winning at all costs Sociology is the."— Presentation transcript:
2 Definitions Modern sport is a reflection of our society –e.g., winning at all costs Sociology is the study of the functioning of human society in various environments (e.g., workplace, church, school) Sport sociology is the study of the functioning of society within the modern sport environment
Important Issues in Sport Sociology Specifically, we could discuss: –Aggression and Violence in Sport –Cheating in Sport –Gender and Sport –Race and Ethnicity in Sport –Racism in Sport –Other Victims of Discrimination
Is there a pattern of behavior that shows that sports reflect societal values?
Athletes Learn at an Early Age The importance of doing whatever it takes to help win, as they –Cheat to gain competitive advantages –Taunt their opponents and use other gamesmanship ploys –Engage in harmful behaviors personally and against opponents –Display poor sportsmanship Are athletes who engage in such actions simply displaying the values that characterize families, peers, businesses, and society in general?
Did These Really Happen? A mother abandoned her daughter alongside an interstate highway after the daughter did not perform to the mother’s expectations in a soccer game. A father provided steroids and human growth hormones to his 13-year old son who was a world- ranked inline speed skater. A T-ball coach offered a player $25 if he would hit an autistic teammate in the face so that child would not have to be played in a play-off game.
Justify Actions by Saying Everyone else does it. This is the way the game is played. Do anything you can get by with until the official calls it. If you are not cheating, then you are not trying hard enough to win.
Violence in sports parallels the reality of violence in society as a whole –We see examples of societal violence in the news –Sports news isn’t much better
Examples of Violence in Sport Hockey –2000: Marty McSorley knocks out Donald Brashear by slashing him in the head with his stick Basketball –1995: Vernon Maxwell hits an abusive fan in the stands Baseball –Roger Clemens throws the jagged piece of a broken bat at Mike Piazza Examples can be found in almost every sport Can you think of any other examples?
Definitions Violence = extreme aggression There are three distinct components of aggressive behaviour: 1.Hostile Aggression 2.Instrumental Aggression 3.Assertive Behaviour
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm The goal is to cause suffering The intent is to cause harm
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm The goal is to cause suffering The intent is to cause harm The goal is to achieve some external award
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm The goal is to cause suffering The intent is to cause harm The goal is to achieve some external award Anger is usually involved
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm The goal is to cause suffering The intent is to cause harm The goal is to achieve some external award Anger is usually involved No anger is involved
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm The goal is to cause suffering The intent is to cause harm The goal is to achieve some external award Anger is usually involved No anger is involved Performed outside the rules of the game
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm The goal is to cause suffering The intent is to cause harm The goal is to achieve some external reward Anger is usually involved No anger is involved Performed outside the rules of the game Performed within the rules of the game
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm The goal is to cause suffering The intent is to cause harm The goal is to achieve some external award Anger is usually involved No anger is involved Performed outside the rules of the game Performed within the rules of the game e.g., fist-fighting in hockey
Hostile AggressionInstrumental Aggression The intent is to cause harm The goal is to cause suffering The intent is to cause harm The goal is to achieve some external award Anger is usually involved No anger is involved Performed outside the rules of the game Performed within the rules of the game e.g., fist-fighting in hockeye.g., aggressive checking meant to hurt the opponent
Assertive Behaviour Often confused with aggression Increased effort and energy expenditure No intent to harm No anger involved May result in harm, but any resultant harm is incidental to the game e.g., Assertive checking meant to slow down the opponent
What Causes Aggressive Behavior in Sport? The following causes most likely interact to cause aggressive behavior
1. Parents and coaches Through comments, e.g., “Bob can really take care of himself.” By demonstrating interest in televised sporting event fights Recommendations: 1.Good role models need to convey a negative reaction to aggression 2.Other?
2. Outcome of the contest and league standing More aggression occurs after losing contest –Frustration Lower league standing teams demonstrate more aggression –Frustration and a little to lose Recommendations: 1.Refocus the teams efforts into more productive channels, e.g., a new game plan 2.Others?
3. Point spread The larger the point spread, the more aggression occurs –Nothing to lose because game is perceived to be out of reach Recommendations 1.Refocus attention, e.g., try out a new play 2.Others?
4. Physical contact Sports with a lot of physical contact result in more aggression –If player believes that the opponent is trying to hurt him/her there is an increased likelihood that aggression will occur Recommendations: 1.Encouraging athletes to increase effort vs. aggressive acts 2.Victory (vs. harm) = the ultimate way to get back at an opponent 3.Others?
5. Fan Reaction More aggression occurs when a team plays away from home –Linked to fan reaction, i.e., unfriendly crowd is likely to anger the visiting team Recommendations: 1.Players must learn to “tune out” this fan reaction and focus on the game 2.Others?
Cheating = behavior aimed at getting around the rules or simply breaking them Why do athletes engage in cheating? 1.The win-at-all-costs mentality 2.Cheating results from the sport ethic Ben Johnson’s world record in the 100-metre dash in the 1988 Summer Olympics before he was stripped of his win for using anabolic steroids.
The Sport Ethic A cluster of norms that describe what it means to be a successful athlete Four specific norms make up the sport ethic
1. An athlete makes sacrifices for the game Athlete must love the game above all else, i.e., give it total priority This involves: –Meeting the competition demands without question –Making sacrifices (e.g., family)
2.An athlete strives for distinction Constantly seeking improvement Continuously getting closer to perfection –“swifter, higher, stronger” Tatiana Grigorieva
3.An athlete accepts risks and plays through pain Athlete does not give in to pressure, pain, or fear Success comes with: –Overcoming the fear and challenge of competition –Accepting the increased risk of failure and injury
4.An athlete accepts no limit in the pursuit of possibilities Obligation to pursue one’s dream to succeed without question Anything is possible if a person is dedicated enough
Cheating occurs when the norms of the sport ethic are accepted without question
Athlete Recruitment Rules are bent in order to sign promising talent e.g., “getting around” the rules regarding athletic scholarships “Ignoring” the required admission average standards Others?
Academic Cheating Athletes have their course work written by “academic support” staff Little evidence that athletes engage in more academic cheating than other students However, cheating is cheating! –Pressure to maintain a certain GPA has the potential to cause athletes to consider cheating
Cheating in Games Modification of equipment –Fencing: rewiring athletes –Baseball: using cork-filled bats, applying Vaseline on the ball Modification of play –Basketball: using physical contact to throw-off an opponent’s jump shot when out of the referee’s sight lines Others?
Performance- Enhancing Drugs 1. To gain a winning edge 2. Just to stay competitive e.g., Ben Johnson tragedy IOC considers certain performance- enhancing drugs illegal because: 1.They give one an unfair advantage 2.They have serious health side-effects Athletes must be counselled to stay drug- free
DrugPhysiological EffectPerformance Effect Anabolic steroids ↑ muscle mass↑ muscle strength and power Amphetamines↑ muscle tension, HR, BP Prepare body for competition CocainePhysiological stimulant Help overcome fear Rectal Air Injections ↓ body density↑ swimmer’s buoyancy AlkalinesNeutralize accumulation of acids in the blood Postpone fatigue Blood Boosting↑ oxygen carrying capacity Postpone fatigue Beta-adrenergic receptors Physiological sedativeTo steady the hands
What Prevented Women From Participating in Physical Activity in the Past?
1. Lack of rights Women were not allowed to vote, get education, make own decisions, etc. This prevented them from making decisions with respect to their participation in physical activity 1948 Olympics – 400m relay
2. Emphasis on reproduction Women were described almost exclusively by their biology as reproducing organisms Physical exertion was thought to destroy a woman’s potential to have children
3. Societal expectations Women were expected to act “lady-like” –Female athletes were negatively labelled because they did not act in accordance with these norms Many sports were discouraged because they prevented women from acting “lady-like” –e.g., bicycling Female athletes were expected to emphasize their femininity –e.g., by wearing feminine clothes, which impaired performance
Access to Sport for Women Single most important change in the world of sport over the past generation was – INCREASED PARTICIPATION OF FEMALES Women can now freely participate in sports that were not available to them a few decades ago
Fig. 8.2 Number of Summer Olympic Events open to women and men. *Includes 12 mixed events in 2000
What Led to the Increased Participation of Females in Sport?
New Opportunities Development of new teams and programs since the late 1970’s is linked with increased participation –Unfortunately, women still don’t receive an equal share of opportunities in today’s society - e.g.? These new opportunities have resulted from political changes
The Global Women’s Rights Movement Over the past 30 years: Emphasized that females excel as human beings when they are given the opportunity to develop their physical abilities Played role in redefining occupational and family roles for women In 1996, U.N.’s Fourth World Conference on Women called for: Increased efforts to provide sports opportunities New efforts to promote education, health, and human rights for females all over the world
The Expanding Health and Fitness Movement Since the mid-1970’s health research highlighted the many benefits of regular participation in physical activity for females Today, well-toned muscles and CV fitness are no longer seen as desirable only in the male population Some traditional standards still remain in terms of clothing fashion and marketing strategies –Examples?
Increased Media Coverage of Women In Sport Today, there are increased opportunities for girls and women to follow female athletes in media This provides them with role models and encourages them to be active athletes themselves Unfortunately, women’s sports are still not covered as often or with the same detail as men’s sports –Examples?
In Summary The preceding factors have: –Collectively fostered increased interest in sport participation for females –Emphasized that gender equity in sports is an important goal In today’s society, –Gender equity is far from being achieved Example? –But the movement is underway and there is no turning back
Figure 8.5 Gender ideology is changing but it continues to create constraints on sport participation for some people.
Gender-based Double Standards: Do They Exist in Sports? What would happen if: Mia Hamm beat up a man or a couple of women in a bar fight? A rugby team “mooned” tourists in Washington, DC? A basketball player had four children with four different men? Anna Kournikova was photographed with near naked men ogling and hanging on her?
Definitions Race –Involves reference to physical traits –BUT is based on meanings that people have given to those particular physical traits Ethnicity –Not based on physical traits –Based on characteristics associated with cultural traditions and background Minority group –A socially identified group that experiences discrimination and suffers social disadvantages
The Black Athlete – View of the Past Only white athletes were allowed to play on major league baseball teams Black athletes played in Negro Leagues Jackie Robinson – first black baseball player to play in the major leagues
Racial Discrimination against African Americans in Sports Were subjected to racial taunts, discriminatory treatment, exclusion, and bigotry Exceptional athletically and academically, a few males were the first to integrate sports. Moses Walker, who played catcher for Oberlin College and the University of Michigan in 1881- 1883, was the first to play at a Caucasian institution. William Lewis, who played center- rush for Harvard University, was the first named an All- American in 1892 and 1893.
Continued Racial Discrimination Historically Black colleges and universities and segregated leagues Subjected to: withheld from games; violence; exclusion with “gentleman’s agreements;” stacking; and quotas Oklahoma State’s Wilbanks Smith viciously hit Drake’s Johnny Bright in the face with his fist. All-American Paul Robeson John McClendon
Confronting Racial Discrimination Succeeding against unbelievable odds The watershed event of the 1966 NCAA men’s basketball championship game Athletes fighting for their rights, such as through boycotts and demanding equitable treatment Alice Coachman Bill Garrett Jesse Owens
Academic Exploitation of African Americans in Sports Post-World War II, they were recruited mostly for their athletic skills. Segregated schools, non-college- preparatory curricula, and socio- economic factors led to poor academic preparation for college. Many majored in eligibility rather than obtained college degrees. Dexter Manley
The Black Athlete - Progress Progress has been made leading to a significant increase in black athlete representation However, the majority of people in power (e.g., team owners) are white, so the possibility of unequal access still exists
Tiger Woods: Disrupting Dominant Race Logic CABLINASIAN CA = Caucasian BL = Black IN = Indian ASIAN = Asian
Race Ideology in Sports Today Race logic encourages people to “See” sport performances in racial terms, i.e., in terms of skin color Use whiteness as the taken-for-granted standard Explain the success or failure of people with dark skin in racial terms Do studies to “discover” racial difference
Traditional Race Logic Used in Sports Achievements of White Athletes are due to: –Character –Culture –Organization Achievements of Black Athletes are due to: –Biology –Natural physical abilities
Disabilities and Sport Traditionally people with disabilities have been segregated in our society and sports Determination shown by Terry Fox, Rick Hansen, and others has led to highlighted attention of achievements of disabled athletes Changes that allowed disabled individuals to become less segregated members of our society: –Crippled, handicapped, retarded disabled –More sporting events are being offered –Bill C-62 –More ramps and accessibility –Others?
Gay Athletes Professional sport is highly male, heterosexual, and homophobic “Coming out” in a sporting environment puts individual’s social status, family and fan affection, and even success at risk Dave Kopay (1976) - First North American athlete to “come out” Martina Navratilova Greg Louganis
Gay Games –Formed in 1982 –Since then their popularity has increased tremendously –People of all sexual orientations are welcomed –Key philosophy: PARTICIPATION, SUPPORT, INCLUSIVENESS AND ENJOYMENT –This philosophy is opposite to conventional international competitions, which stress exclusion and ranking
Homophobia in Sports Popular discourse erases the existence of gay men and lesbians in sports Gay men and lesbians challenge the two- category gender classification system Being “out” in sports creates challenges –Women risk acceptance –Men risk acceptance and physical safety Most people in sports hold a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy concerning homosexuality
What Is the Likelihood of Becoming an Olympic, Professional, Intercollegiate, or Interscholastic Athlete? US population — over 306 million Just over 7 million high school athletes Less than 500,000 college athletes Approximately 10,000 professional athletes Less than 800 Olympic athletes
Estimated Probability of Competing in Athletics beyond the High School Interscholastic Level (NCAA, 2007) Student-Athletes Men's Basketball Women's Basketball FootballBaseball Men's Ice Hockey Men's Soccer High School Student Athletes 546,335452,9291,071,775470,67136,263358,935 High School Senior Student Athletes 156,096129,408306,221134,47710,361102,553 NCAA Student Athletes 16,57115,09661,25228,7673,97319,793 NCAA Freshman Roster Positions 4,7354,31317,5018,2191,1355,655 NCAA Senior Student Athletes 3,6823,35513,6126,3938834,398 NCAA Student Athletes Drafted 44322506003376 Percent High School to NCAA 3.0%3.3%5.7%6.1%11.0%5.5% Percent NCAA to Professional 1.2%1.0%1.8%9.4%3.7%1.7% Percent High School to Professional 0.03%0.02%0.08%0.45%0.32%0.07%
Moral Justifications Used to Defend Unethical Actions in Sport and Society Try to make it seem that the unethical action is really ethical, such as by claiming there is no rule against it, no one will ever know, or everyone else does it. State that the action is not really unethical since no one was really harmed or no foul was called or penalty assessed. Argue that while a rule was violated, the situation along with the amount of good accomplished overshadowed the small amount of harm; that is, the end justifies the means.
Sports Reflecting Societal Values Winning at all costs Unethical behaviors Influence of money
Sports Are a Reflection of Societal Values While sports have been praised for leading positive societal changes, such as reducing discriminatory treatment of African Americans, today sports reflect society’s cheating culture. Commercialized sports, especially as popularized by the media, entertain Americans, many of whom are obsessed by winning and cheer for athletes and coaches who do whatever it takes to win.