Sociology of Sports: Outline
The paper centers on the larger field of sociology of sports. It is observed that sports play a critical role in the society. Experts in the field try to understand the role that sports play in the society. Different perspectives regarding the significance of sports based on theoretical perspectives depict that sports could play useful roles as envisaged by the functionalist school of thought while it could also play a dysfunctional role as propounded by the conflict theory.
The paper is arranged in the following order.
Description of Football
Description of Observation Event
Reflection of Sports Experience
In the introduction, the focus is on sports and how it relates to the society using various theoretical perspectives. It is reflected in the introduction that the field of sports is diverse. There different games such as rugby, net ball, athletics, base ball, badminton, football, etc. I selected football based on two main reasons. The first reason is that football has a large following across the world. Secondly, I am an avid football fan. The observation event that I selected was a football match that featured Manchester United and Manchester City. The main reason I chose the event is based on my length admiration for the football game. Equally, important, I had begun reviewing the history of football. Thus, observing the event was a progressive step in the development of the paper.
Referring to Description of Football, the roots of the game are put into perspective as well as its socio-cultural influence. In the section of Description of Observation Event, the focus is on a sporting event that I watched on television. The location is at Manchester in the northern part of England. The sporting event is a football match pitying the two Manchester clubs: Manchester United vs. Manchester City. The setting of the game is tense as reflected by the high level of passion that the two sets of fans demonstrate.
The field of sociology of sports is a significant arm of the larger field of sociology. The focus rests on understandinghow sports influence social relations. Sociologists in the field try to understand the role that sports play in the society. Different perspectives exist regarding the significance of sports. As the various theoretical perspectives depict, sports could play useful roles as envisaged by the functionalist school of thought while it could also play a dysfunctional role as propounded by the conflict theory.
It is agreeable that the field of sports is diverse. There different games such as rugby, net ball, athletics, base ball, badminton, football, etc. I selected football based on two main reasons. The first reason is that football has a large following across the world. Secondly, I am an avid football fan. The observation event that I selected was a football match that featured Manchester United and Manchester City. The main reason I chose the event is based on my length admiration for the football game. Equally, important, I had begun reviewing the history of football. Thus, observing the event was a progressive step in the development of the paper.
Under the part of reflection, the focal point is my personal experience. This precedes the conclusion which basically summarizes the contents of the whole paper. Finally, the references consulted are given under the reference section.
Reflection on Sports Experience
My own experience about sports remains breathtaking. I grew up supporting a local football team. After I went to post high school, I got a new experience as I interacted with people from diverse regions. As such, I became an ardent fan of the English Premier League. In the league, I support Manchester United. The team has a rich history that pulled me. My experience watching the game is intriguing. As a supporter, I have encountered heartbreaks as my team has lost some games that I never expected. However, most of the times, I have been thrilled as the team wins in most instances. I have also managed to make some friends while participating in the games. Sometimes, I have also encountered frightening moments as fans from opposing teams attempted to engage in unbecoming behavior.
Role of Sports
Sports play a great role in the society. Sport is a team-based enggagement (Jarvie, 2006). Hence, it improves working together as a group. This is through the enhancement of team spirit. It is also notable that sports are based on rules and regulations. In this regard, sports contribute to rule-making or norm creation. Another aspect is based on the view that teams are supported by fans from different parts. Hence, sporting activities contribute towards integrating members of the society.
Sports also contribute towards the distortion of both fans’ and athletes’ life objectives. This happens when people begin believing that life is centered on winning and earning much money. Hence, sports are a diversion from real life issues. Often, people abandon their work to watch sport games. Another attribute that casts sports in an unhelpful light is that, it has become too commercialized. This is true since big multinationals use sports for advertising purposes while sport teams use their brands to market products. Consequently, sports are seen as contributing towards the creation of a culture of materialistic dependence. Sports have also played a role in militarizing and nationalizing people. In the sporting events, national pride is dominant. Sports have also played a role in the enhancement of racism and sexism. It is due to sports aid the perpetuation of both sexual and racial stereotypes.
Connection of Experience with That of Others
Each person experiences something out of participating in games (Johnson & Holman, 2004). Irrespective of being a fan or a player, each participant undergoes some form of transformation. To begin with, sports fans experience sensations whenever their teams are playing. These sensations emanate from the idea that in playing, there are possibilities of winning or losing games. Consequently, the burning desire to win is a dominant feeling which is fuelled by the urge to win. The levels of excitement that fans reflect are surprising to participants. In practice, the participants are the ones who stand to lose or gain. Whereas, the win for participants is monetary or material; for fans, the win or loss is more psychological. A connecting aspect between fans and participants is that the will to win is almost equal. This is reflected by the level of disappointment among the fans and participants whenever a team fails to performs well.
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