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APA 1302 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Binge Drinking, Quasi, Immorality

Human Kinetics
Course Code
APA 1302
Michael Robidoux
Study Guide

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Chapter 4 - Sport & Social Stratification
What is social class?
-Refers to categories of people who share a similar economic position in society based on a
combination of their income, wealth, education, occupation, and social connections.
What is social stratification?
-Refers to structured forms of economic inequalities that are part of the organization of
everyday life; these inequalities influence life chances (i.e., opportunities to achieve economic
success and gain economic power) that vary from one social class to another in the social
stratification system.
What is meritocracy?
-A hierarchical ranking and reward system in which an individual’s demonstrated performance
determines where (s)he will be situated in the existing hierarchy.
-It is a merit based system that rewards individuals for their achievements within the
-NOTE: The harder you work, the higher hierarchy you are in.
-Issue: It requires ‘even playing field’.
-In order to achieve meritocracy, you need two conditions:
-Equality opportunity
-Equality of conditions
What is equality of opportunity vs equality of conditions?
Equality of opportunity
-Equality of opportunity simply means each person has the same opportunity to participate; it
must equally be available for everyone.
-It also means that everyone participates under the same conditions.
-Example: Showing for the race doesn’t mean people are competing fairly, based on access to
coaching, training facilities, nutrition, etc.
Equality of conditions
-Equality of conditions enables for equitable and truly meritocratic sport system.
Example of a country that hasn’t achieve meritocratic?
-Canada as in other sporting nations, is far from achieving a meritocratic sport system.
What is the social inequality in Canada?
-Small minority of the population owns the majority of the wealth.
-The riches of the few are increasing the gap between the richest and the poorest in the
-It also led to a shrinking of middle income Canadians often referred to as the middle class.
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What is Neoliberalism?
-Jean Harvey states that it “refers to minimal state intervention (small government), and
places greater emphasis on individuals entrepreneurial freedoms”.
-The market runs its course without government regulation.
-This has been huge in rich getting rich and poor getting poorer.
-BOTTOM LINE: Breaking down society into quintiles representing 20% breakdown of wage
-IMPORTANT ASPECT: we need small government, with no government, it causes citizens to
not succeed. They instead, will need to take care of themselves.
What is the meaning, organization, and purpose of sports heavily influenced by?
-The meaning, organization, and purpose of sports are heavily influenced by money and
economic power.
What is class relations in most societies based on?
-Class relations in most societies are based on an ideology in which economic success is
equated with individual ability, worth, and character.
-Competitive power and performance sports reaffirm this ideology.
Who are the most powerful people in sports between class relations?
-The most powerful people in sports are white men who control the resources of major
organizations that sponsor sports or present them in the media.
-The most visible sports around the world revolve around the meanings and orientations
valued by people with economic resources and power.
-NOTE: Sport refers to who has access to the high quintile. That is, they are generally men,
and have ideologies. This influences the types of sport we watch, the sponsors we support,
and the media.
-The sport we watch is driven by the popularity of the sport. e.g. Hockey, Super Bowl.
-Visible sport are driven by the sector of the sport and the power of sport.
How does class relations fit into cultural ideology?
-Sports are valuable cultural vehicles for developing ideological “outposts” in the minds of
people around the world.
-This is why transnational corporations spend billions of dollars to be primary providers of
popular pleasure and entertainment.
-Then corporate spokespersons use sport to deliver other messages about what
should be important in people’s lives (commercials are just one part of it).
-Our ideologies and beliefs are influenced by sport and various advertising.
-Sport has been understood to becoming an ideological outpost because people are
watching them.
What does social class & sport participation influence?
-Social class and class relations influence who plays, who watches, who consumes
information about sports, and the kinds of information that are available.
-Generally, the higher the social class, the greater the involvement and influence.
-Sport participation occurs in the context of class-related lifestyles
-EXAMPLE: Super Bowl commercials = They get us thinking about issues by sanitizing it and
trying to sell us stuff.
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What is consumption?
-How we consume things. It comes with a lifestyle.
-EXAMPLE: going to the gym, running a marathon, fitness clothes, etc., it caters how people
want to be fit.
How does class relations fit into gender relations?
-Girls and women in low-income household often face the grates constraints to sport
-Boys and girls from higher-income families seldom face constraints that interfere with
participations in after school and summer programs, camps, and leagues.
-Gender-related factors have a great impact on sport participation patterns in lower income
-RESULTS: Kid’s sport participation has declined in recent years. Sport participation is highest
for children in high income families.
How does class relations fit into gender in men’s lives?
-Ideas about sports and masculinity vary by social class.
-Boys from lower income backgrounds often see sport participation as a means of
obtaining “respect”
-Early, exclusive commitments to sports often are more likely among boys from lower income
How does social class fit into gender and race/ethnicity?
-Research shows that for some low-income, minority men, combative sports (boxing or MMA)
is an alternative to the violence of the streets.
-Boxing is a refuge from the violence, hopelessness, and indignity created by racism and
-Many of these men know they would not be boxers if other opportunities had existed for
What is the problem with class relations?
-Cuts in publicly funded sport programs disproportionately affect people with few economic
resources (e.g. sport programs)
-Tickets to pro sports events are too expensive for many people today.
-Ticket prices increase about 30% after new facilities are constructed.
How is economic interfering with career opportunities in sports?
-Career opportunities are limited and, for athletes, they are short term.
-The odds of making big money as an athlete are so low that nobody should bet on them.
-Opportunities for women are growing but they remain limited
-Opportunities for ethnic minorities are growing but remain limited.
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