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Chapter 2

PERLS104 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Profit Motive, Social Order, Class Consciousness


Department
Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure Studies
Course Code
PERLS104
Professor
Melanie Muise
Chapter
2

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Chapter 2
Social Theories: Those of us who study sports in society want to understand four
things:
(1)The social and cultural contexts in which sports exist
(2) The connections between those contexts and sports
(3) The social worlds that people create as they participate in sports, and
(4) The experiences of individuals and groups associated with those social worlds.
-Functionalist, conflict, interactionist, critical, feminist
Theorizing: Combination of description, analysis, reflection, and application
-It’s not necessary to use complex terminology. Best theories are those we understand
so clearly that they help to make sense of our experiences/social world
Functionalist Theory (slides 14-18 lec.2)
-Leads people to ask research questions about the ways that sport contributes to the
organization and stability of organizations, communities, societies and other social
systems.
1. Assumptions about the basis for social order in society:
Social order is based on consensus and shared values, which hold the interrelated parts
of society together. All social systems operate efficiently when each part of the system
stays “in synch” with other parts.
2.Major Concerns in the study of Society:
How do the parts of social systems contribute to the satisfaction of “system needs” and
the efficient operation of the system.
3.Major Concerns in the study of Sport:
How does sport fit into social life and contribute to social stability and efficiency?
How does sport participation teach people important norms in society?
4.Major Conclusions about the Sport-Society relationship:
Sport is a valuable social institution that benefits society as well as individuals in society.
Sport is a source of inspiration on both personal and social levels.
5.Social Action and Policy Implications:
Develop and expand sport programs that promote traditional values, build the type of
character valued in society, and contribute to social order and stability.
6.Major Weaknesses:
It doesn’t acknowledge that sports are social constructions.
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It overstates the positive consequences of sport.
It ignores that sport serves the needs of some people more than others.
Conflict Theory (Slides 19-22 lec.2)
1. Assumptions about the basis for social order in society:
Social order is based on economic interests and the use of economic power to exploit
labor.
Social class shapes social structures and relationships.
2.Major Concerns in the study of Society:
How is economic power distributed and used in society?
What are the dynamics of social class relations?
Who is privileged and exploited in class relations?
3.Major Concerns in the study of Sport:
How does sport reflect class relations?
How is sport used to maintain the interest of those with power and wealth in society?
How does the profit motive distort sport and sport experiences?
4.Major Conclusions about the Sport-Society relationship:
Sport is a form of physical activity that is distorted by the needs of capital.
Sport is an opiate that distracts attention away from the problems that affect those
without economic power.
5.Social Action and Policy Implications:
Raise class consciousness and make people aware of their alienation and
powerlessness.
Eliminate the profit motive in sports thereby allowing them to foster expression,
creativity, and physical well-being.
6.Major Weaknesses:
It ignores that sport can be a site for creative and liberating experiences.
It tends to overstate tot the influence of economic forces in society.
It assumes that people who have economic power always shape sports to meet their
interests.
Critical Theory
1. Assumptions about the basis for social order in society:
Social order is negotiated through struggles over ideology, representation, and power.
Social life is full of diversity, complexities, and contradictions.
2.Major Concerns in the study of Society:
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