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Social theories part ii

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1 Social theories part ii
January 21, 2015 ~ phed 1007

2 Overview Examine Feminist Theory and Interactionist Theory
Practice use of the three theories

3 Feminist theory “Sports are gendered activities”
Assumptions: Knowledge about social life requires an understanding of gender and gender relations Social order is based primarily on the values, experiences and interests of men Social life/order is based on _______________ ideas

4 Feminist Theory Glimpse of history:
Clear that most of human history over the past 6,000 years has been patriarchal History of Women in Sport and Physical Activity: “Conservation of Energy” – __________________ science “Unnatural” for women to engage in any sort of vigorous activity

5 Old advertisement for ketchup.



8 Feminist theory and Sport
Main Conclusions: Sports are grounded in the values/experiences of powerful men in society Sports reproduce male power and distorted ideas about masculinity Sports produce ________ ideas about physicality, sexuality and the body 9 Ways Women get on the Cover of Sports Illustrated

9 Possible research questions involving feminist theory
In what ways have girls and women been excluded from or discouraged from participating in sports or physical activity? How are women and men represented in the media coverage of sports? What strategies effectively resist or challenge the male-centered gender ideology that is promoted and reproduced through most sport?

10 Weaknesses of Feminist theory
Does not provide clear guidelines for determining when sports reproduce culture and social organization and when they become sites for resisting and transforming them (same are _________ Theory) Sometimes uses confusing vocabulary (same as Critical Theory)

11 Interactionist theory
Focuses on issues related to meaning, ___________, social relationships and subcultures People’s behaviour is based largely on how they think others perceive them or will perceive them Society and culture is developed based on the relationships we have with others

12 Interactionist Theory
Different from Functionalism and Conflict Theory as it provides a “______________ up” approach Attempts to understand real-life behaviours of people in society Bottom up: understand social worlds from the inside (focus on the feelings of the individual rather than look at the social system as a whole)

13 Interactionist theory and Sport
Common theory for understanding experiences of athletes within sport participation Especially relevant: identity and ____________ with others Video of sports identity

14 Two major themes within sociology of sport
_______________________: How individuals are socialized into sport (learning rules, values, norms) How individuals are socialized through sport (how to function in wider society through lessons learned in sport)

15 Two major themes within sociology of sport
Understand process through which subcultural groups form their own unique language, belief system, norms, identity Skydiving subculture

16 Possible research questions involving interactionist theory
What are the characteristics of sport cultures, how are they created, and how do they influence people lives on and off the field? What happens when athletes retire and make the transition to the rest of their lives? How do people come to define themselves and be identified by others as an athlete?

17 Weakness of interactionist theory
Focuses attention almost exclusively on ____________ without attention on how sports are influenced by social organization, power, material conditions in society Does not provide critical visions on how sport and society could/should be organized (like critical theory)

18 Let’s practice using the different theories
Functionalist Theory: Sport functions to socialize people to maintain the status quo Conflict Theory: Sport is controlled by rich/powerful people; sport is an opiate of the masses Critical Theory: Sports are sites where culture and social relations are produced and changed. Encourages action for change. Feminist Theory: Sports are sites for challenging and transforming oppressive forms of gender relations, sexism, and homophobia Interactionist Theory: Athletes define and make sense of sports participation through their interactions with others and the identities they form

19 An example… Boy wants to play on girls team
Let’s examine this from the different theoretical perspectives (previous slide)

20 Conclusion Feminist Theory and Interactionist Theory are two other commonly used theories in the sociology of sport We will be applying these theories throughout the course

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