Presentation on theme: "Week 10: Sport, Deviance and Violence"— Presentation transcript:
1 Week 10: Sport, Deviance and Violence Themes of presentation:Defining deviancy in sportsThe sport ethic and its effectsThe problems of overconformityTypes of deviancy on and off the sports fieldDefining violence, aggression and intimidation in sportsTypes of sport-related violence- players and fansConclusionDeviancy: not following society’s expectations of behaving in relation to norms.-bodily functions that are natural (this is controlled):Spitting in 16th century was acceptable; not in 17th century (spitoons); 18th century and so on to further refine and restrain spitting
2 Defining DeviancyUnder-conformity: ignoring or rejecting the norms such as talking back to the coach or to referees; violating rules or committing fouls during a game, taking megadoses of performance enhancing drugs; hazing rookies; sexual assault, gamblingT.O. not being a team player and behaving however he feelsAnarchy can be seen as rampant undercomformityOver-conformity: unquestioned acceptance of norms Neglecting needs of family, training to the point of self-injury, unhealthy eating and/or weight control, playing when in pain or injured.continuing to play even though you are injured (this is normalized and is actually seen as worthy of praise)what is deviant outside of sport is commonly reversedFascism can be seen as hyperconformity
3 Challenges of Studying Deviance in Sports Causes and forms of deviance are diverseSports have different norms than other social spheresWhat is normalized in sport, can be seen criminal outside of sportsDeviancy depends on the contextOver-conformity is more common than under-conformityMedicalization of sports blurs the line between accepted action and devianceThe line of deviancy is blurry: a supplement that’s fine in daily life can be contraband for athletesNo single theory can explain them allFor example, ice hockey players are allowed and encouraged to ram into each other but off the rink this would be criminalDespite media coverage that seems to suggest that sports and athletes are becoming increasingly deviant, most deviance is in the form of over-conformity.Taking drugs to enhance performance is seen increasingly as a natural part of sports. Gene doping, originally devised to help treat diseases like cystic fibrosis, increases the number of red blood cells which increases oxygen supply and improves an athlete's endurance. In the late 90’s, an entire team was thrown out of the Tour de France after cyclists were found to be taking erythropoetin (EPO).
4 The Sport Ethic The Sport Ethic (in Coakley (2007)): A set of norms that many people in performance sports have accepted as the dominant criteria for defining what it means to be an athlete in power and performance sports. Also, what it takes to successfully claim an identity as an athleteThis factor becomes more important the higher up we go in sports
5 Four Norms of the Sports Ethic An athlete makes sacrifices for “the game.”Some people’s identity is so immersed in being an athleteRugby player: I wouldn’t die for my team, but I would consider going into an extended coma2. Athletes strive for distinction.Coach Gaines’ be perfect speech in the beginning of the movie in terms of winning state is confirmation of this aspect.Ben JohnsonBethany Hamilton- bit by a shark: a 14 ft (4.3 m) tiger shark attacked, taking a 17 in (43 cm) wide bite of the board and her left arm. In jerking Hamilton back and forth, the shark ripped off her arm just below her shoulder before disappearing. Although she was bleeding profusely, Hamilton was able to compose herself enough to use her right arm to paddle in to the shore. Her friend's father was able to fashion a tourniquet out of a surfboard leash around what was left of her arm before rushing her to the hospital. She lost 70% of her blood that morning and Hamilton said in her book, Soul Surfer, that the reason she kept calm was because of God watching over her.Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton was determined to return to surfing. Just ten weeks after the accident, she returned to her board and went surfing again
6 Four Norms of the Sports Ethic 3. An athlete takes risks and plays through pain“The measure of a football player isn’t how well he performs on Sunday, but how well he performs in pain” –Ricky Williams-No pain no Spain shirts4. Athletes accept no limits in the pursuit of possibilities.If you work hard and train hard, you will get success.Anything can be accomplished if you work hard enough.During November 7-December 9, 1997, three previously healthy collegiate wrestlers in different states died while each was engaged in a program of rapid weight loss to qualify for competition.
7 The sport ethicThose who refuse to follow the sport ethic are often shunned by teammates, coaches and fans:When players are unwilling to make sacrifices for the game and refuse to strive for distinction, they don’t last long in high-performance sports. Their underconformity is not toleratedRicky williams is wasting his talents by enjoying life and smoking weed so he sucks….he takes for granted all the years of hard work and eventual disability that comes from years of playing pro football
8 Over-conformity and Group Dynamics Over-conformity to the sport ethic encourages three social processes:It bond athletes together in ways that encourage and normalize deviant over-conformity.It separates athletes from the rest of the community and inspires awe and admiration from the larger community.It leads athletes to develop “hubris”.particularly within elite and high performance sports
9 Research on Deviancy “On the Field” Findings suggest:Deviance (i.e., cheating, dirty play, fighting and violence) is less common today than in the past.Athletes do interpret rules loosely, create informal rules and expect/engage in certain on-the-field rule violations.Sports are more rule-governed than in the past. This seems to not only decrease the incidences and inclinations of deviance among athletes but may account for the seemingly higher rates of deviancy as there are more rules to violate now than in the past.But this doesn’t necessarily mean deviance is out of control. The reinterpretation of rules and engagement of violations does vary according to strictness of referees
10 Research on Deviancy “Off the Field” “Sports do not turn athletes into models of virtue nor into delinquents in systematic ways” (Coakley, (2007)).In other words, there is not enough evidence to suggest that athletes have higher deviancy rates (cheating, gambling, fighting, etc.) than non-athletes.3. NFL players seem to commit fewer property crimes than the general population but it is unclear whether they commit more or less assault/sexual assault.
11 Defining Violence, Aggression, and Intimidation Violence (in Coakley, 2007)):Aggression (in Coakley, 2007)):Intimidation (in Coakley, 2007)):Violence differs from aggression in terms of intent. One can commit a violent act without having the intention of trying to dominate, control or harm another person.
12 Types of Sport-related Violence Brutal body contact –Borderline violence –
13 Types of Sport-related Violence Quasi-criminal violence-Criminal violenceIn a game between the Kings and Lakers in the 2003 preseason, a fight broke out on-court in the 1st quarter 2 minutes into the game between Kings guard Doug Christie and Lakers forward Rick Fox. After being separated, the two were ejected from the game, to their teams' respective locker rooms. Rick Fox jogged around to confront Doug Christie again as Christie was leaving the court. The two players fought at the locker room alley that involved both Kings and Lakers bench. The altercation resulted in Fox being suspended 6 games and Christie suspended 2 games.
14 Sport, Violence & Masculinity Violence and masculinity“Across many cultures, playing power and performance sports has become an important way to prove masculinity” (Coakley, 2007).
15 Sport, Violence & Masculinity Dominanct codes of masculinity and the control of painViolence becomes a marker of self worth and reaffirms your identity. Athletes who don’t play through pain are failures and those who do are courageous. Playing through injuries honors the importance of the game and expresses dedication to team-mates and the value of high performance sportsThis suggests that sports are related to physical damage
16 Sport, Violence & Masculinity Over 80% of men and women in top level college sports in USA sustain atleast one serious injury while playing sport. Nearly 70% are disabled for two or more weeksThe rate of disabling injury in the NFL is over 3 times greater than working in high-risk construction jobsThe reality of a career-ending injury occurring is ever present
17 Sport, Violence & Masculinity Pro sports involving brutal body contact are the most violent and dangerous workplaces in the occupational worldThe reality of a career-ending injury occurring is ever present
18 War Language in SportsCommentators consistently use martial metaphors and language of war and weaponry to describe sports action.Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. Its bound with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words: it is war minus the shooting (george orwell)Nearly 5 times per hour of sports commentary, announcers use terms: battle, kill, reloading, detonate, exploded, attack mode, blast etc…Metaphors of war are often used in sports discourse
19 Sports and Violence “Off the Field” “Carry-over”Violence on the field that carries over into the athletes lives off the field. Research on carry-over is inconclusiveControlsports participation teaches people to control violent actions, defeat hardship and pain, and enables them to avoid violence off the field when they face adversityCompeting arguments:violenceIf the sport exercises control of emotions and force; it may help control it outside of the arena (skill and art of MMA when controlled
20 Violence and Sport Fans Two contexts:Violence among television viewers- not much research about this.Violence at sport events.Most fans do not participate in violence but it has been known to happen both in the past and today (not often but it happens)No systematic study of “celebratory violence” that occurs following winsIn the early 90’s there was much ado about increases in domestic violence around the Super Bowl. In fact, in the days leading up to the big game there were several news conferences warning women about the increases risks and reminding men that domestic violence was illegal. The increase in violence have not be confirmed but the notion remains a common conception.
21 Celebratory Violence Most common in the U.S. U.S. research tends to re-enforce the notions of riots as an issue of race relations2001 Stanley Cup In ColoradoOften make these riots seem as though they were b/c of race
22 Soccer Hooliganism Primarily studied by British and European scholars Figurational theory:Synthesis of biological, psychological, sociological and historical approachesGrounded in historical changes that have affected working-class men, their relationships with each other and their families, as well as their definitions of community, violence, and masculinity.Supporters flee 29 May 1985 the scene of riots at the Heysel stadium in Brussels. Liverpool and Juventus clash in the Champions League quarter-final, the first time the two sides have met since the 1985 European Cup final which remains a deep scar in football history.Firms: gangs made up of fans that engage in violence against other teams gangs (green street hooligans)Working class push against this civilized sportization of sport
23 Sports violence and the media Media effectsThe media can sometimes exaggerate the level of sports violence, leading to an amplification of the problemThis may lead to calls for a tougher approach and increased forms of surveillance and policing which actually serves to heighten rather than reduce the problemWe will explore the relationship between media and sports a bit more in the next two weeksThe media causes panicThis leads to tougher approach and forms of surveillance which heightens the problem rather than reduce itRelationship between violence and sports is complicated:There is no strong evidence that consuming sports will increase your own violence
24 Conclusion: Sport, deviancy and violence The relationship between deviancy and violence in sport and their effects on players and spectators is complexDifferent sports have different ethical and moral codes and these change from one cultural setting to another so it is difficult to make broad generalizations about deviancy, violence and sportThere are so many forms of deviancy out there that it is impossible to have a single theory that explains it all
25 Conclusion: Sport, deviancy and violence The use and acceptance of violence in sport is often a way to re-enforce and celebrate heterosexual hegemonic masculinity.The sports ethic, taken to extremes can lead to violence and deviance in sport and can be damaging to players and spectators alike; although, there is some evidence that sport teaches people how to control violent behavior outside of sport.Use and acceptance of violence is a way to re-enforce hegemonic masculinity (acting tough rather than being tough)
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