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Sport in Society: Issues & Controversies


Sport in Society: Issues & Controversies Sports and Children: Are Organized Programs Worth the Effort? Origins of Organized Youth Sports Organized youth sports ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sport in Society: Issues & Controversies

Sport in SocietyIssues Controversies
  • Sports and Children
  • Are Organized Programs Worth the Effort?

Origins of Organized Youth Sports
  • Organized youth sports emerged in the 20th
  • The first programs focused on masculinizing
  • Organized youth sports grew rapidly in many
    industrialized countries after World War II
  • Programs in the U.S. emphasized competition as
    preparation for future occupational success
  • Girls interests generally were ignored

Social Changes Related to the Growth of Organized
Youth Sports
  • Increase in working families
  • New definitions of good parent
  • Growing belief that informal activities lead to
    trouble for kids
  • Growing belief that the world is dangerous for
  • Increased visibility of high-performance and
    professional sports in society

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Major Trends in Youth Sports Today
  • Organized programs have become increasingly
  • Organized programs increasingly emphasize the
    performance ethic
  • An increase in elite training facilities
  • Increased participation in alternative sports

Youth SportsTypes of Sponsors
  • Public, tax-supported community recreation
  • Public non-profit community organizations
  • Private nonprofit sport organizations
  • Private commercial clubs

Privatized Youth Sport Programs
  • Growth is associated with the decline in publicly
    funded programs
  • Most common in middle- and upper-middle income
  • May reproduce economic and ethnic inequalities in
  • May not be committed to gender equity
  • Private programs are not accountable in the same
    way as public programs

The Performance Ethic
  • Refers to emphasizing measured outcomes as
    indicators of the quality of sport experiences
  • Fun becoming better
  • Emphasized in private programs
  • Related to parental notions of investing in their
    childrens future

Elite Sport Training Programs
  • Most common in private, commercial programs
  • Emphasize the potential for children to gain
    material rewards through sports
  • Children often work long hours and become like
    laborers, but programs are not governed by
    child labor laws
  • Raise ethical issues about adult-child

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New Interests in Alternative Sports
  • A response to highly structured, adult-controlled
    organized programs
  • Revolve around desires to be expressive and
  • May have high injury rates and patterns of
    exclusion related to gender and social class
  • Are being appropriated by large corporations for
    advertising purposes

Different Experiences
  • Formal Sports Emphasize
  • Formal rules
  • Set positions
  • Systematic guidance by adults
  • Status and outcomes
  • Informal Sports Emphasize
  • Action
  • Personal involvement
  • Challenging experiences
  • Reaffirming friendships

Different Outcomes
  • Formal Sports Emphasize
  • Relationships with authority figures
  • Learning rules and strategies
  • Rule-governed teamwork achievement
  • Informal Sports Emphasize
  • Interpersonal decision-making skills
  • Cooperation
  • Improvisation
  • Problem solving

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When Are Children Ready to Play Organized,
Competitive Sports?
  • Prior to age 12, children dont have the ability
    to fully understand competitive team sports
  • They play beehive soccer
  • Children must lean how to cooperate before they
    can learn how to compete
  • Team sports require the use of a third party
  • Role Taking Ability
  • Game Stage Developmental level

What Are the Dynamics of Family Relationships in
Youth Sports?
  • Sports have the potential to bring families
  • Being together does not always mean that close
    communication occurs
  • Children may feel pressure from parents
  • Parent labor in youth sports often reproduces
    gendered logic ideas
  • work
  • family

How Do Social Factors Influence Youth Sport
  • Participation opportunities vary by social class
  • Encouragement often varies by gender and
  • Self perceptions and the social consequences of
    participation vary by
  • social class
  • sex
  • race/ethnicity
  • ability/disability
  • sexuality

Recommendations for Changing Informal
Alternative Sports
  • Make play spaces more safe and accessible to as
    many children as possible
  • Be sensitive to class and sex
  • Provide indirect guidance without being
  • Treat sport as a worthwhile site for facing
  • developing competence

Recommendations for Changing Organized Sports
  • Increase action
  • Increase personal involvement
  • Facilitate close scores and realistic challenges
  • Facilitate friendship formation and maintenance

Recommendations for Changing High-performance
  • Establish policies, procedures, and rules to
    account for
  • the rights of children participants
  • the interests of children participants
  • Create less controlling environments
  • to promote growth
  • to promote development
  • to promote empowerment

Prospects for Change
  • Often subverted when priority is given to
    efficiency and organization
  • over age-based developmental concerns
  • May be subverted by national organizations
    concerned with standardizing programs
  • May be subverted by adult administrators with
    vested interests in the status quo

Coaching Education Programs
  • Are useful when they provide coaches with
    information on
  • Dealing with children safely and responsibly
  • Organizing practices and teaching skills
  • Are problematic when they foster a
    techno-science approach to controlling
  • Creating sports efficiency experts should not
    be the goal

Deviance in SportsIs It Out of Control?
Problems Faced When Studying Deviance in Sports
  • Forms causes of deviance are diverse
  • No single theory can explain all
  • Sports behavior may be deviant in other settings
    (All Star Wrestling)
  • Sports often involves unquestioned acceptance of
  • rarely the rejection of norms
  • Training performance have become medicalized

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Using Functionalist Theory to Define Deviance
  • Deviance involves a rejecting of accepted goals
  • Or rejecting the means of achieving goals in
  • Conformity is equated with morality
  • Deviance is caused by faulty socialization
  • By inconsistencies in the social system
  • Deviance is controlled by getting tough
  • By enforcing more rules more strictly

Using Conflict Theory to Define Deviance
  • Deviance involves behavior that interferes with
    the interests of those with economic power
  • The behavior of those who lack power is more
    likely to be labeled as deviant
  • Those who deviate often are victims of
    exploitation in a system characterized by
  • The problem of deviance will be minimal when
    power is equally distributed in society

Using Interactionist Critical Theories to
Define Deviance
  • Most deviance in sports is not due to the moral
    bankruptcy of athletes
  • Much deviance in sports involves over conformity
    to established norms in sports
  • Sport deviance must be understood in terms of the
    normative context of sport cultures and the
    emphasis on the sport ethic

Deviant Over- Conformity
Deviant Under- Conformity
Normally Accepted Range of Behavior
Deviance based on unquestioned acceptance of norms
Deviance based on ignoring or rejecting norms
The Sport Ethic
  • A cluster of norms that represent the
    accepted criteria for defining what it means to
    be an athlete.

Four Norms of the Sport Ethic
  • An athlete makes sacrifices for the game
  • An athlete strives for distinction
  • An athlete accepts risks and plays through pain
  • An athlete accepts no limits in the pursuit of

Why Do Athletes Engage in Deviant Over-
  • Two reasons for over-conformity
  • Sports are so exhilarating and thrilling that
    athletes want to play, and they will do almost
    anything to continue to do so
  • Being selected by coaches and managers is more
    likely when athletes over conform to the sport

Athletes Most Likely to Over- Conform to the
Sport Ethic
  • Those who have low self-esteem
  • Eager to be accepted by their peers
  • Willing to sacrifice what they think others want
    them to
  • Those who see achievements in sport as their only
    way to get ahead
  • make a name
  • become important in the world

Deviant Over-Conformity and Group Dynamics
  • Following the Norms of the Sport Ethic
  • Special Bonds Among Athletes
  • Hubris (arrogance)

Social Processes in Elite Power Performance
  • Bond athletes in ways that normalize over
    conformity to the sport ethic
  • Separate athletes from the rest to inspire awe
    and admiration among community members
  • Lead athletes to develop HUBRIS (a sense of
    arrogance, separateness, and superiority)

Hypotheses About Deviance Among Athletes
  • Deviance becomes more likely when
  • Social bonds normalize risk taking
  • Athletes are separated from the rest of the
  • Athletes develop extreme degrees of hubris
  • When people in the community see athletes as
    being special

Controlling Deviant Over-Conformity in Sports
  • Four ways to control deviant over-conformity
  • Learn to identify the forms and dynamics of
    over-conformity among athletes
  • Raise critical questions about the meaning,
    organization, and purpose of sports
  • Create norms in sports that discourage over-
    conformity to the sport ethic
  • Help athletes to learn to strike a balance
    between accepting and questioning rules and norms
    in their sports

Research on Deviance Among Athletes
  • On the Field Deviance
  • Cheating, dirty play, fighting, violence are
    less common today than in the past
  • This historical finding contradicts popular
  • Many people think deviance is more common today
  • More rules than ever before
  • Expectations for conformity are greater.

Research on Deviance Among Athletes
  • Off the Field Deviance
  • Athletes do not have higher delinquency rates
  • Data on academic cheating is inconclusive
  • Athletes have higher rates of alcohol use
  • Felony rates among adult athletes do not seem to
    be out of control
  • BUT they do constitute a problem

Is Sport Participation a Cure for Deviant
  • Research suggests that organized sport might
  • reduce deviance if
  • A philosophy of nonviolence
  • Respect for self and others
  • The importance of fitness and control over self
  • Confidence in physical skills
  • A sense of responsibility

  • Athletes are not the only ones in sports who
    engage in deviant behavior. Think of other
    examples involving
  • Coaches
  • Parents
  • Spectators
  • Administrators
  • Team owners
  • Agents

Using Performance Enhancing Substances in Sports
  • The use of performance enhancing substances
    occurs regularly in high performance sports
  • Many cases of usage constitute a form of deviant
    over conformity
  • Such substances will be used as long as athletes
    believe they will enhance performance

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Defining and Banning Performance Enhancing
  • Defining what constitutes a performance
    enhancing substance is difficult
  • Defining what is natural or artificial is
  • Defining what is fair when it comes to the use of
    science, medicine, technology in sports is
  • Determining what is dangerous to health is
  • Studying and testing for substances is
    constrained by ethical and legal factors

Eight Reasons Why Substance Use So Prevalent
  • The high stakes in sports have fueled research
    and development of substances
  • Fascination with the use of technology to push
    human limits
  • The rationalization of the body
  • Heavy emphasis on self-medication
  • Changing sexual relations

Why Is Substance Use So Prevalent Today?
  • The organization of power and performance sports
    (must win to continue to play)
  • Coaches, sponsors, administrators, and fans
    clearly encourage most forms of deviant
  • The social structure of elite sports (control
    over body and conformity to demands of coaches)

Arguments Against Testing
  • Testing will never be able to identify all
    substances athletes use to enhance performance
  • Athletes and substance manufacturers can stay one
    step ahead of the testers
  • Mandatory testing, testing without cause, and
    using blood and tissue violates ideas about
    rights to privacy in many cultures

Arguments for Testing
  • To be meaningful, sport performances must involve
    natural abilities
  • Drug use destroys the basis for competition by
    subverting fairness
  • Drug use threatens the health and well-being of
  • Drug use is immoral and must be stopped

Controlling Substance Use Where to Start (I)
  • Critically examine the hypocrisy in elite sports
  • Establish rules indicating that risks to health
    are undesirable and unnecessary in sports
  • Establish rules stating that injured athletes
    must be independently certified as well before
    they may play
  • Educate young athletes to define courage and
    discipline in ways that promote health

Controlling Substance Use Where to Start (II)
  • Establish a code of ethics for sport scientists
  • Make drug education part of deviance and health
  • Create norms regulating use of technology
  • Critically examine values and norms in sports
  • Redefine meaning of achievement
  • Teach athletes to think critically
  • Provide accurate and current information to
    parents, coaches, and athletes

  • Violence in Sports
  • How Does It Affect Our Lives?

Definition of Violence
  • The use of excessive force that causes or has
    the potential to cause harm or destruction
  • Violence is not always illegal or disapproved
  • It may be praised and lauded as necessary
  • When violence involves widespread rejection of
    norms, it may signal anarchy
  • When violence involves extreme over-conformity to
    norms, it may signal fascism

Definition of Aggression
  • Verbal or physical behavior grounded in an
    intent to dominate, control, or do harm to
    another person
  • Aggression is not the same as assertiveness,
    competitiveness, or trying hard
  • Intimidation refers to words, gestures, and
    actions that threaten violence or aggression

Violence in Sports History
  • Figurational research shows that violence was
    more severe in the past
  • On the field off the field
  • Rates of sports violence have not automatically
    increased over time
  • Violence in sports remains a crucial social issue
  • Sports violence can serve to reproduce an
    ideology of male privilege

Types of On-the-field Violence
  • Brutal body contact
  • Hits, Tackles, Blocks, or any forceful body
  • Borderline violence
  • Brush Back Pitch, Elbow, the Bump in running,
    Fight in hockey, or any force with the intent to
    cause bodily harm
  • Quasi-criminal violence
  • Cheap Shot, Late Hits, or any use of force that
    violates the rules
  • Criminal violence
  • Physical Assault that usually brings criminal

Violence As Deviant Over Conformity to the Sport
Ethic (I)
  • Coaches may expect players to use violence
  • Violence often attracts media attention
  • Players may not like violence, even though most
    accept it as part of the game
  • Quasi and criminal violence are routinely
    rejected by athletes and spectators

Violence As Deviant Over- Conformity to the Sport
Ethic (II)
  • Violence may be related to insecurities in high
    performance sports
  • Expressions of violence are related to gender,
    but not limited to men
  • Physicality creates drama and excitement, strong
    emotions, and special bonds among all athletes,
    male and female

Commercialization and Violence
  • Some athletes are paid to do violence
  • Commercialization and money expand the visibility
    of violence in sports, and violent discourse in
    and about sports
  • Violence is not caused by TV and money it
    existed long before TV coverage and big salaries

Violence and Masculinity
  • Violence is grounded in general cultural norms
  • Violence in sports is not limited to men
  • Playing power and performance sports often are
    ways to prove masculinity

Violence, Masculinity, Social Class, Race
  • Among men from low-income backgrounds, violence
    may be a tool to bring respect
  • Black men may use violence to exploit white

Violence Is Institutionalized in Some Sports
  • In non-contact sports, violence is usually
    limited to using violent images in talk
  • In contact mens sports, players learn to use
    violence as a strategy
  • Enforcers goons are paid to do violence
  • In womens contact sports, violence may be used
    as a strategy, but not to prove femininity

Pain and Injury As the Price of Violence
  • A popular paradox in todays sports People
    accept violence while being concerned about
    injuries caused by violence
  • Disabling injuries caused by violence in some
    sports are serious problems
  • Dominant ideas about masculinity are related to
    high injury rates in mens sports

Controlling On-the-field Violence
  • Brutal body contact is the most difficult form of
    violence to control
  • Most injuries occur on legal hits
  • The most effective strategies might involve
  • Suspensions for players
  • Fines for team owners

Off-the-field Violence
  • Carryover data are inconclusive
  • Assault and sexual assault rates among male,
    heterosexual athletes are a serious problem
  • These behaviors are a serious problem in society
    as a whole
  • Debates about whether rates are higher among
    athletes distract attention from the problem of
    violence in culture

Hypotheses About Male Athletes Violence Against
  • Violence is related to
  • Support from fellow athletes for using physical
    force as a strategy
  • Perceived cultural support for domination as a
    basis for status identity among men
  • Deviant over-conformity to the norms of the sport

Hypotheses About Male Athletes Violence Against
  • Violence is related to
  • Support for the belief that women constitute
    groupies in sport worlds
  • Collective HUBRIS and the notion that outsiders
    do not deserve respect
  • Institutional support for elite athletes
    regardless of behavior
  • Institutional failures to hold athletes
    accountable for deviance

Learning to Control Violence in Sports
  • Control may be learned if
  • The social world formed around a sport promotes a
    mindset norms emphasizing
  • Non-violence
  • Self-control
  • Respect for self and others
  • Physical fitness
  • Patience

Violence Is Most Likely When
  • Sports are organized in ways that
  • Produce HUBRIS
  • Separate athletes from the community
  • Encourage athletes to think that others do not
    deserve their respect

Violence in Sports Gender Ideology
  • Doing violence in sports reproduces the belief
    that men are superior to women
  • Power performance sports, when they encourage
    violence, emphasize difference between men and
  • Sports violence reproduces an ideology of male

Violence Among Spectators
  • No data on how watching sports may influence
    violence in everyday relationships
  • Spectators at non-contact sports have low rates
    of violence
  • Spectators at contact sports have rates of
    violence that constitute a problem in need of
    analysis and control
  • Rates today are lower than rates in the past

Celebratory Violence
  • This form of violence has not been studied
    systematically by scholars in the sociology of

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General Factors Related to Violence at Sport
  • Action in the sport event itself
  • Crowd dynamics the situation in which
    spectators watch the event
  • Historical, social economic, political context
    in which the event is planned and played

Crowd Dynamics Situational Factors
  • Crowd size
  • Composition of crowd
  • Meaning and importance of event
  • History of relationship between teams
  • Crowd control strategies at event
  • Alcohol consumption by spectators
  • Location of event
  • Motivations for attending the event
  • Importance of teams as sources of identity for

Controlling Crowd Violence
  • Be aware of the following factors
  • Perceived violence on the field is positively
    related to crowd violence
  • Crowd dynamics and conditions
  • Historical, social, political issues underlying
    spectator orientations

  • Gender and Sports
  • Does Equity Require Ideological Changes?

What is sex?
  • The biological characteristics of maleness of

Three biological characteristics can be used to
identify a persons sex.
  • Physical Appearance
  • Genitalia are commonly used at birth, but not
    without some occasional errors.
  • Hermaphrodite
  • Physical abnormality

The Second Biological Characteristic
  • Hormones
  • Hormones can also be used, but hormone levels
    vary greatly between members of the same sex.
  • Hormone levels are also influenced by physical
  • Males and females have the same hormones.
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone

The Third Biological Characteristic
  • Chromosomes
  • Chromosome testing is used to measure the
    presence of either XX or XY pairs.
  • Chromosome testing is not frequently done, but
    when the test is done some errors do occur.
  • Olympic FEM-testing has been criticized for many
  • Errors are associated with all methods of
    determining individual sex.

Sex Category is the assigning of a person (or
self) to either male or female sex.
  • What attributes do people use to identify
    someone's sex?
  • Hair length?
  • Physique?
  • Skin complexion?
  • Voice?
  • How often are you wrong???

Will women ever be able to
  • Run as fast?
  • Jump as high?
  • Lift as much?

  • The belief that a persons behavior is the product
    of their biological sex.

Participation and Equity Issues
  • Participation by girls women has increased
    dramatically since the early 1980s due to
  • New opportunities
  • Government equal rights legislation
  • Global womens rights movement
  • Expanding health fitness movement
  • Increased media coverage of womens sports

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Reasons For Caution When Predicting Future
Participation (1-4)
  • Budget cutbacks and the privatization of sport
  • Resistance to government regulations
  • Backlash among those who resent strong women
  • Under representation of women in decision-making
    positions in sport programs

Reasons For Caution When Predicting Future
Participation (5-7)
  • Continued emphasis on cosmetic fitness
  • Trivialization of womens sports
  • Homophobia and the threat of being labeled

Gender and Fairness Issues in Sports
  • Inequities in participation opportunities
  • Often grounded in dominant definitions of
    femininity in a culture
  • May be related to religious beliefs
  • Establishing legal definitions of equity
  • Support for athletes
  • Jobs for women in coaching and administration

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Legal Definitions Title IX in the US
  • Title IX requires compliance
    with one of these three tests
  • The proportionality test
  • A 5 percentage point deviation is okay
  • The history of progress test
  • Judged by actions progress over past 3 years
  • The accommodation of interest test
  • Programs teams meet the interests and abilities
    of the under represented sex

Title IX Categories of Support for Athletes
  • Access to facilities
  • Quality of facilities
  • Availability of scholarships
  • Program operating expenses
  • Recruiting budgets
  • Scheduling of games practice times
  • Travel and per diem expenses
  • Academic tutoring
  • Number of coaches
  • Salaries for all staff and administrators
  • Medical training services and facilities
  • Publicity for players, teams, and events

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Coaching and Administration Reasons for Under
  • Women have fewer established connections in elite
  • Subjective evaluative criteria used by search
  • Support systems professional development
    opportunities for women have been scarce

Coaching and Administration Reasons for Under
  • Many women do not see spaces for them in
    corporate cultures of sport programs
  • Sport organizations are seldom sensitive to
    family responsibilities among coaches and
  • Women may anticipate sexual harassment and more
    demanding standards than those used to judge men

Strategies to Promote Gender Equity (1-4)
  • Confront discrimination and be an advocate for
    women coaches and administrators
  • Be an advocate of fair and open employment
  • Keep data on gender equity
  • Learn and educate others about the history of
    discrimination in sports and how to identify

Strategies to Promote Gender Equity (5-9)
  • Inform media of unfair and discriminatory
  • Package womens sports as revenue producers
  • Recruit women athletes into coaching
  • Use womens hiring networks
  • Create a supportive climate for women in your

Cheerleaders Reproducing Definitions of
  • Cheerleading in the late 1800s was a male
    activity it changed after World War II
  • Cheerleading today is a diverse phenomenon, but
    cheerleading sometimes is organized in ways that
    reproduce traditional gender logic
  • Be attractive, and pure wholesome
  • Support men as they work
  • Be an emotional leader without receiving material

The Two-Gender Classification System
Girls and Women As Agents of Change
  • Sport participation can empower women
  • But this does not occur automatically
  • But personal empowerment is not necessarily
    associated with an awareness of the need for
    gender transformation in society as a whole
  • But elite athletes seldom are active agents of
    change when it comes to gender ideology

Why Elite Athletes Seldom Challenge Traditional
Gender Ideology
  • Women athletes often fear being tagged as
    ungrateful, man-haters, or lesbians
  • Corporation-driven celebrity-feminism focuses
    on individualism and consumption, not everyday
    struggles related to gender
  • Empowerment discourses in sports are tied to
    fitness and heterosexual attractiveness
  • Women athletes have little control or political
    voice in sports or society at large

Boys and Men As Agents of Change
  • Gender equity also is a mens issue
  • Equity involves creating options for men to play
    sports not based exclusively on a power and
    performance model
  • Equity emphasizes relationships based on
    cooperation rather than conquest and domination

Changes in Gender Ideology Prerequisites for
Gender Equity
  • Gender ideology is crucial because
  • Gender is a fundamental organizing principle of
    social life
  • Gender logic influences how we
  • Think of self and other
  • How we relate to others
  • How we present ourselves
  • How we think about and plan for our future

Gender Logic
  • Based on a
  • Two-category Classification System
  • Assumes two mutually exclusive categories
    heterosexual male and heterosexual female
  • These categories are perceived in terms of
    difference, and as opposites
  • System leaves no space for those who do not fit
    into either of the two categories
  • The two categories are not equal when it comes to
    access to power

Sports Celebrations of Masculinity
  • Gender is not fixed in nature therefore, people
    must work to maintain definitions
  • Sports are sites for preserving forms of gender
    logic that privilege men marginalize women
  • Dominant sport forms highlight and reward
    virility, power, and toughness
  • Sport images and discourse glorify a heroic
    manhood based on being a warrior

Gender Logic in Sports Girls and Women As
  • Girls and women in sports often threaten the
    preservation of traditional gender logic
  • Through history, myths have been used to
    discourage participation by girls and women
  • Encouragement varies by sport, and whether the
    sport emphasizes grace or power
  • Being a tomboy is okay as long as traditional
    femininity cues are presented

Women Bodybuilders Expanding Definitions of
  • Competitive bodybuilding for women did not exist
    before the 1970s
  • Women bodybuilders often are perceived as deviant
    in terms of gender definitions
  • Women bodybuilders challenge traditional
    definitions of gender, despite commercial images
    that highlight heterosexual attractiveness
  • Femininity insignias are used to avoid social

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Gender-based Double StandardsDo They Exist in
  • 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?

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 Dont ask, dont
    tell policy concerning homosexuality

Strategies for Changing Ideology and Culture
  • There is a need for
  • Alternative definitions of masculinity
  • Critically question violent destructive
  • Alternative definitions of femininity
  • Becoming like men is not the goal
  • Changing the ways we talk about do sports
  • Lifetime participation, an ethic of care, gender
    equity, and bringing boys and girls and men and
    women together to share sport experiences

  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Are They Important in Sports?

Defining Race Ethnicity
  • Race refers to a category of people regarded as
    socially distinct
  • Share genetic traits believed to be important
    by those with power and influence in society
  • An ethnic group is a socially distinct population
    that shares a way of life
  • Committed to the ideas, norms, and things that
    constitute that way of life

Minority Group
  • Refers to a socially identified collection of
    people who
  • Experience systematic discrimination
  • Suffer social disadvantages because of
  • Possess a self-consciousness based on their
    shared experiences

The Concept of Race
  • Racial categories are social creations based on
    meanings given to selected physical traits
  • Race is not a valid biological concept
  • Verified by data from Human Genome Project
  • Racial classifications ambiguous
  • because they are based on continuous traits with
    arbitrary lines drawn to create categories
  • Racial classifications vary from culture to

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Racial Categories Drawing Lines in Society
Snow white
Midnight black
Continuous Traits skin color, height, brain
size, nose width, leg length, leg length ratio,
of fast twitch muscle fibers, etc. Discrete
Traits blood type, sickle cell trait,
etc. Racial category lines can be drawn anywhere
and everywhere! We could draw 2 or 2000 the
decision is a social one, not a biological one.
Some people draw many others draw few.
Race in the United States
  • A primitive but powerful classification system
    has been used in the U.S.
  • It is a two-category system based on the rule of
    hypo-descent or the one-drop rule
  • The rule was developed by white men to insure the
    purity of the white race and property control
    by white men
  • Mixed-race people challenge the validity of this
    socially influential way of defining race

Tiger Woods Disrupting Dominant Race Logic
  • CA Caucasian
  • BL Black
  • IN Indian
  • ASIAN Asian

Using Critical Theory to Ask Questions About
Racial Classification Systems
  • Which classification systems are used?
  • Who uses them?
  • Why are some people so dedicated to using certain
    classification systems?
  • What are the consequences of usage?
  • Can negative consequences be minimized?
  • Can the systems be challenged?
  • What occurs when systems change?

Race Ideology in History
  • Racial classification systems were developed as
    Caucasian Europeans explored and colonized the
  • These systems were used to justify colonization,
    conversion, and even slavery and genocide
  • According to these systems, white skin was the
    standard, and dark skin was associated with
    intellectual inferiority and arrested development

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

Searching For Jumping Genes in Black Bodies
  • Why is the search misleading?
  • Based on oversimplified ideas about genes and how
    they work
  • Assumes that jumping is a simple physical
    activity related to a single gene or interrelated
    set of genes
  • Begins with skin color and social definitions of

A Sociological Hypothesis
  • Race logic discrimination sport opportunities
  • Beliefs about biological cultural destiny
  • Motivation to develop skills

The Power of Race Logic
  • Black male students often have a difficult time
    shaking athlete labels based on race logic
  • Young people from all racial backgrounds may make
    choices influenced by race logic
  • In everyday life, race logic is related to the
    cultural logic of gender and social class

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Sport Participation andAfrican Americans
  • The facts show that
  • Prior to the 1950s, African Americans faced a
    segregated sport system
  • African Americans participate in a very limited
    range of sports
  • African American men and women are under
    represented in most sports

Sport Participation andNative Americans
  • Native Americans comprise dozens of diverse
    cultural groups
  • Traditional Native American sports combine
    physical activities with ritual and ceremony
  • Native Americans often fear losing their culture
    when they play Anglo sports
  • Stereotypes used in sports discourage Native
    American participation

Images of Native Americans in Sports
  • Using stereotypes of Native Americans as a basis
    for team names, logos, and mascots is a form of
  • regardless of the intentions
  • Are there conditions under which a group or
    organizations could use the cultural and
    religious images of others for their own
  • What would happen if a school named their teams
    the Olympians and used the Olympic logo (5-Rings)
    as their logo?

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Sport Participation andLatinos Hispanics
  • The experiences of Latino athletes have been
    ignored until recently
  • Stereotypes about physical abilities have
    influenced perceptions of Latino athletes
  • Latinos now make up 25 of Major League Baseball
  • Latinos often confront discrimination in school
  • Latinos have been overlooked due to faulty
    generalizations about gender and culture

Sport Participation andAsian Americans
  • The cultural heritage and histories of Asian
    Americans are very diverse
  • The sport participation patterns of Asian
    Americans vary with their immigration histories
  • Little is known about how the images of Asian
    American athletes are represented in the media
    and minds of people in the U.S.

The Dynamics of Racial Ethnic Relations in
  • Race and ethnicity remain significant in sports
  • Todays challenges are not the ones faced in the
  • Racial and ethnic issues DO NOT disappear when
    desegregation occurs
  • The challenge of dealing with inter-group
    relations never disappears
  • changes in terms of the issues that must be

Eliminating Racial Ethnic Exclusion in Sports
  • Changes are most likely when
  • People with power and control benefit from
    progressive changes
  • Individual performances can be measured precisely
    and objectively
  • Members of an entire team benefit from the
    achievements of teammates

Eliminating Racial Ethnic Exclusion in Sports
  • Changes are most likely when
  • Superior performances do not lead to automatic
  • Team success does not depend on off-the-field

The Biggest Challenge Integrating Positions of
  • Power in sports is not readily shared
  • Even when sport participation is racially and
    ethnically mixed
  • The movement of minorities into coaching and
    administrative positions has been very slow
  • Social and legal pressures are still needed
    before power is fully shared

Needed Changes
  • Regular and direct confrontation
  • of racial and ethnic issues by people in
    positions of power
  • A new vocabulary
  • dealing with new forms of racial and ethnic
  • Training sessions dealing with practical problems
    and issues
  • Not just feelings

The Racially Natural Athlete?
  • There is no evidence showing that skin color is
    related to physical traits that are essential for
    athletic excellence across sports
  • or in any particular sport

Socially Constructing the Black Male Body Race
Ideology in Action
  • In Euro-American history there has been
  • Strong fears of the physical power and prowess of
    (oppressed) black men
  • Powerful anxieties about the sexual appetites and
    capabilities of (angry) black men
  • Deep fascination with the movement of the black
  • THEREFORE, the black male body
  • valuable entertainment commodity

Research Summary(Genetic Factors Athletic
  • Are there genetic differences between
    individuals? YES
  • Are genetic characteristics related to athletic
    excellence? YES
  • Could one gene account for success across a range
    of different sports? PROBABLY NOT
  • Might skin color genes physical performance
    genes be connected? NO EVIDENCE

Research Summary (Continued)
  • Are physical development the expression of
    skills in sports related to cultural definitions
    of skin color and race? DEFINITELY YES
  • Do cultural ideas about skin color race
    influence the interpretation of and meaning given
    to the movement and achievements of athletes?

Social Origins of Athletic Excellence
  • A cultural emphasis on achievement in activities
    that have special cultural meaning
  • Resources to support widespread participation
    among young people
  • Opportunities to gain rewards through success
  • Access to those who can teach tactics and

Consequences of Race Ideology in Sports
  • Desegregation of revenue producing sports
  • Continued racial exclusion in social sports
  • Position stacking in team sports
  • Racialized interpretations of achievements
  • Management barriers for blacks
  • Skewed distribution of African Americans in U.S.
    colleges and universities