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SOC505 - Sociology of Sport - Midterm 2 Prep (Everything you need to know!!)

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Ryerson University
SOC 505
Nicole Neverson

Week 6 Sports, Deviance and Violence Working definition of deviance Deviance is any thought, action or feeling that runs contrary to social standards or expectations. It can be considered rule-breaking behaviour. Deviance can be thought of on a continuum of tolerable behaviour. For instance, on one end there is tolerable behaviour, on the other, extremely problematic or unacceptable behaviour and all the shades of grey in between (Wilbert Leonard II, 1998). Norms are socially constructed as people interact with each other and determine a range of accepted actions, traits or ideas that consistent with their values Deviance is socially constructed as people negotiate the limits of what they will accept and then identify the actions, traits and ideas that go beyond those limits Power relations influence the process of negotiation normative limits are seldom meaningful unless they can be enforced Most actions, traits and idea in social world will fall into a normally accept range and those that fall outside involve deviant under and over conformity Problems faced when studying deviance 1. Those involved in sports, especially athletes are governs by many different sets of regulation (Rules permitted and that are not) 2. Actions being accepted in sports that may be deviant in other spheres of society and actions accepted in society that may be deviant in sport (Encouraged to hit in sports but assault charges in society) 3. The types and cause of deviance in sports are so diverse that no single theory can explain all of them 4. Training and performance in sports are now based on such new forms of science and technology that people have not yet developed norms to guide and evaluate the actions of athletes and others in sports (Taking supplements, protein shakes compared to steroids, where to draw line?) 5. Deviance in sports often involves an unquestionable acceptance of norms, rather than a rejection of norms. (Taking extremes to commitment, sacrifice that could potentially damage ones body long-term aka no pain no gain) Two Dimensions of Deviance 1) The objective dimension There are rules that to what is wrong Formal punishments When rules have been broken, athletes may face: Penalty minutes, disqualification, losing points Objective information reviews many points of view. It is intended to be unbiased. News reporters are supposed to be objective and report the facts of an event. Encyclopedias and other reference materials provide objective information. 2) The subjective dimension Moral judgement within the hierarchy of moral control o Informal punishments The actions of an athlete may lead to trash talking, stripping of captaincy, heckling, honest mistake, stigmatization of a group, media scrutiny, talking to referee, ie. Booing Vince Carter, Tiger Woods and his personal life Subjective information is one person's opinion. In a newspaper, the editorial section is the place for subjectivity. It can be based on fact, but it is one person's interpretation of that fact. In this way, subjective information is also analytical. Revisit the definition of the situation Definition of the situation defined - Social actors respond to perceived collective meanings - Kind of collective agreement between people on the characteristics of a situation, and from there, how to appropriately react and fit into it. - Establishing a definition of the situation requires that the participants agree on both the frame of the interaction (its social context and expectations), and on their identities (the person they will treat each other as being for a given situation). How do we arrive upon this collective meaning? - We share ideas - Media: Movies, Television - Past experiences - Emotion - opinions, interpretations, and any type of marketing presentation Examples: Team Canada Vancouver 2012 celebrations - They are celebrating - When you win, you can do anything - Canadian Womens hockey team: Pictures taken without consent; drinking on ice was seen as a disgrace. Gender Issue? An Interactionist Approach to Deviance: Labeling Theory Labeling Theory Pre-determined idea of a minority based on the cultural norms rather than their actions, skills or behavior leading to those labeled deviant to engage in deviant behavior - Deviance is not inherent to an act, but instead focuses on the tendency of majorities to negatively label minorities or those seen as deviant from standard cultural norms. [2The theory is concerned with how the self-identity and behavior of individuals may be determined or influenced by the terms used to describe or classify them. It is associated with the concepts of self-fulfilling prophecy and stereotyping - Labeling theory is based on the idea that behaviors are deviant only when society labels them as deviant. As such, conforming members of society, who interpret certain behaviors as deviant and then attach this label to individuals, determine the distinction between deviance and non-deviance. Labeling theory questions who applies what label to whom, why they do this, and what happens as a result of this labeling. Powerful individuals within society (politicians, judges, police officers, etc.) typically impose the most significant labels. Labeled persons may include drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals, delinquents, prostitutes, sex offenders, and psychiatric patients, to mention a few. The consequences of being labeled as deviant can be far- reaching. Social research indicates that those who have negative labels usually have lower self-images, are more likely to reject themselves, and may even act more deviantly as a result of the label. Unfortunately, people who accept the labeling of othersbe it correct or incorrecthave a difficult time changing their opinions of the labeled person, even in light of evidence to the contrary. The relativity of deviance Behavior is only deviant because people say it is deviant o What people consider deviant varies from culture to culture and from one group to another within the same society. Emphasis on reactions to deviance Our reactions to deviance are an important cause to deviance o As symbolic interactionists stress, it is not the act, but the reactions to the act, that make something deviant. Example: the enforcer o To punish people for his/her team to either win or defend o Stand up for team Deviant under conformity and over conformity Deviant under conformity - Actions based on ignoring or rejecting norms Example 1- Canadian 2010 Olympic organizers limit foreign team access to venues o Canada would not let other countrys athletes practice in February, gave them time off while letting their athletes use the facilities. Example 2 male athletes as parents o Luongo left during playoff hunt to be with his wife during her birth of his child Example 3 Vince Carter attends university convocation during game 7 of the semifinals. In normal circumstances this would be appropriate because of all the hard work he put in to getting the degree and wanting to celebrate with his peers. Deviant over conformity Actions based on uncritically accepting norms and being willing to follow them to extreme degrees Example 1 Weight control - Athletes must take measures in order to meet expectations of their weight class in order to perform better. Ie. Santos from did not make the team because he was overweight by a couple of pounds o Jockeys are bulimic Example 2 family life should be organized around sporting life o Wives are induced labor so athletes do not miss a game Example 3 continuing to play while injured or ill o Michael Jordans flu game Lance Armstrong The objective dimension of deviance becomes subjectively interpreted In short there are some specific rules so we can judge objectively but other times we need a subjective approach and only people in power can judge this. They consider what is deviant and give informal punishments
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