APA 1302 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Antonio Gramsci, Raymond Williams, Contemporary Sociology

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APA1302 January 19th Lecture
Murderball
What does it mean to be disabled, or able-bodied?
What stereotypes are broken?
Able-bodied people tend to look down on the special Olympics as inferior (as opposed to
the Olympics), but these hyper-competitive, hyper-masculine wheelchair rugby players
also looked down on the special Olympics
What stereotypes are reaffirmed?
What does sport tell us about embodiment, about what bodies can and cannot do?
i.e.: long distance runners, experience intense pain/ self-awareness
physical activity can drive us to the point of extreme exhaustion, but we feel a sense of
accomplishment and gratification once we finish a big event
How is sport both enabling and disabling?
Competition: brings a sense of rivalry
The sense of accomplishment, recognition can be a driving force
Sport CAN bring the worst out of people, the drive to win at all costs, no matter what
Why study sport and physical activity?
We must see sports as “social phenomena” that have meanings beyond everyday experience.
What these meanings produce assist us in understanding:
1. The societies in which sport exist;
2. The social worlds that are created around sports;
- Sport is an important factor that contributes to our way of being
- Certain realities are produced by one’s involvement in sport
3. The experiences of individuals and groups associated with sport
What are your experiences with sport?
Sense of pride, teamwork, personal bests, etc.
Consider 5 points released by Canadian Heritage in 2013 (p.3 of text):
1. Sport participation rates in Canada continue to decline
2. Gender gap in sport participation has increased
3. Sport participation rates decrease as Canadians get older
4. Higher income earners more likely to participate
5. Sport participation in non Anglophones declining, and established immigrants participate
less than recent immigrants
Sociology enable students/researchers to examine these issues through “concepts and theories
that emphasize the social as opposed to individual causes and that point toward structural
solutions to problems identifies in sport” (Hall, p.4 of text)
Questions asked:
1. What has sport participation been historically stratified by age, gender, race, and
socioeconomic status?
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2. Why is a power and performance model of sport privileged over alternative more
informal expressions of play?
3. Why do we continue to support and even celebrate sports that put people at high risk of
acute and chronic injury (i.e. NFL football)?
4. Why do countries spend billions of dollars to host the Olympics?
5. Why does sport remain one of the last remaining closets (not open to LGBT)?
Why sociology?
Sociology is “the disciplined study of human social behaviour, especially the
investigation of the origins, classifications, institutions and developed of human society
on a global level” (Henslin et al, p.5 in text)
Sociology defined:
Sociology is interested in social interactions that take place between humans, groups, and
societies.
It examines the social structures, power relations, and institutions enable and constrain
individuals and groups.
It is concerned with social rules and ideologies that bind people together and separate
them.
Anthony Giddens take on sociology: “Sociology is a critical examination of the
contemporary social situation with the underlying goal not only to understand social
phenomena but to improve society”
Society
A collection of people:
Living in a defined geographical territory.
United through:
- A political system
- A shared sense of self-identification that distinguished them from other people that
is, a sense of “we-ness”.
Sociology vs. Psychology:
Sociologists study actions and relationships in terms of the social conditions and cultural context
in which people live their lives.
Psychologists study behaviour in terms of attributes and processes that exist inside individuals.
Sociology of Sport
Sociology of sport is a subdiscipline of sociology
Sport sociology is the study of humans/agents involved in sport, the institutions and
social structures that affect sport experiences and the processes that occur in conjunction
with sport (p.6)
Sport sociologists do:
1. Serve as experts to government agencies, public enquiries and commission in areas, such
as drugs, violence and health education
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