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Learning Sociology Through Sports. Sociology Sociology is the scientific study of society and social behavior We focus on the group rather than the individual.

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Presentation on theme: "Learning Sociology Through Sports. Sociology Sociology is the scientific study of society and social behavior We focus on the group rather than the individual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning Sociology Through Sports

2 Sociology Sociology is the scientific study of society and social behavior We focus on the group rather than the individual We study people as they form groups and interact with one another (social interaction) We study facts or events that involve human society (social phenomena)

3 Sociology (continued) We study small groups married couples, close friends We study large groups subcultures, suburban teenagers We study societies as individual entities…. U.S. culture …..and as part of a global perspective differences between lifestyles in Japan and the United States

4 Sociology and the Other Social Sciences Social Sciences are disciplines that study human social behavior or institutions and the functions of human society in a scientific matter Read the handout about these sciences and put it in your folder as part of your notes!

5 Other Social Sciences Psychology: study of human behavior and mental processes. Social Psychology: how the social environment affects an individual’s behavior and personality. Anthropology: studies the origins, physical and cultural development, and social customs and beliefs of cultures. It is the most similar to sociology. Often studies past cultures and simple societies.

6 Psychology

7 Anthropology

8 Other Social Sciences Political Science: studies the governments of societies. Economics: focuses on the production and distribution of society’s goods and services. History: the study of past events.

9 Economics

10 History

11 The Sociological Perspective Looking at life in a scientific, systematic way Getting rid of common-sense explanations and replacing them with a better understanding of hidden meanings behind human actions Helps you gain a new view of social life

12 The Sociological Perspective in Sports What does sport mean in our lives? How are these meanings constructed culturally and socially? What does it mean for individuals, groups, organizations, and society? Can sports help us understand society?

13 “The Sociological Imagination” Term expressed by C. Wright Mills in 1959 “The ability to see the connection between the larger world and your personal life” Reject your previous assumptions. You must be able to pull away from the situation and think from an alternate point of view Bird’s eye view

14 Questions for Discussion People should seek: – Individual Fulfillment – Harmony and respect within their community

15 Questions for Discussion Direct eye contact infers: – Attention and Respect – Disrespect and/or defiance

16 Questions for Discussion One’s future is controlled by: – Behaviors and actions – Fate

17 Questions for Discussion Gender roles should be: – Loosely defined – Clearly defined

18 Try to Avoid Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism: a tendency to judge all cultures in terms of one’s own. A belief that one’s own culture is morally, intellectually, or aesthetically superior to all others As sociologists, we try to avoid ethnocentrism in our research Is it possible to completely avoid ethnocentrism?


20 Cultural Relativism The position that there are no universal cultural values or ideas. A culture can only be understood on its own terms, not from the perspectives of other cultures. Ethical and moral standards are relative.

21 Cultural Relativism

22 Our Goals We want to understand the relationship: between the individual and the social between the patterns, practices, and events in the broader social world and in our lives

23 3 Different Approaches to Understand Culture and Sports HISTORICAL Where does it come from? For what purpose was it created? In what particular ways and context? COMPARATIVE Culture and Sport means different things to different people in different contexts Allows us to examine culture and sport from perspectives other than our own Sport means different things to cultures around the world. CRITICAL We critique the way sport is constructed and enacted We ask questions and examine common assumptions We explore contradictions and complexities in sport and society We create change and explore new ideas. What is our view on performance enhancing drugs? Will our view change with time?

24 Why is the critical approach challenging? Why does it make us uncomfortable, angry, or upset? - Because it creates cognitive dissonance: our thinking is challenged by new ideas that are not in harmony with what and how we currently think Can cognitive dissonance be positive? Yes, it can provide the power for change both individually and collectively

25 Thinking Critically vs. Being Critical We develop social consciousness about sport We recognize problems and possibilities of sport We avoid unthinking acceptance of current practices We are committed to sport while also to change it when necessary Sport is not just a game; it is a serious piece of our culture (i.e. film, TV, advertisement, clothing)

26 Be ready to think and challenge yourself! Sociology is controversial We will talk about topics that will make you disagree with others’ opinions Come ready to debate and listen Be ready to test your statements with objective facts. We try to study the social world as scientists

27 And Stay Awake in Class! Participate!

28 The Critical Approach Let’s try the critical approach with this article on cyclist Lance Armstrong Why does the author say that this situation has created cognitive dissonance?

29 DAY 1 - THE END

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