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Chapter 2

APA 1302 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Symbolic Interactionism, Michel Foucault, Socalled

Human Kinetics
Course Code
APA 1302
Michael Robidoux

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Chapter 2: Sociological Theories of Sport
Sociological theory is a proposition or set of propositions about the nature of the social
world and people’s roles or active engagement in that world.
Their attempt to explain the social world around them to themselves and to gain a better
understanding of their personal lives in turn.
One of the first points about sociological theory is that it does not always support
common sense notions about the nature of the social world.
Functionalist Theory
Emile Durkheim wrote about Suicide which not only his sociological view on the act of
suicide, but ultimately an indication of his more general account of sociology.
According to Durkheim, suicide is more than just a personal act of agency by an
individual. It is a social act and in fact operates according to social laws.
Any human activities of this sort were social facts; any phenomenon that operated
according to social rules or laws independent of any one individual.
Levels of social integration across categories of people significantly impact the chances
of a particular individual committing suicide or not.
Structural Functionalism views society as a complex system in which all of the different
elements of its structure work to promote stability and solidarity within that system.
Society has a structure; it has a stable and persistent pattern of elements. Society has
function; all elements function or contribute to the overall stability of the structure of
Functionalism has been important in terms of considering several vital functions sport
serves to wider society.
Sport functions to develop group bonds, to encourage a sense of community, acts as a
significant agent of socialization, and to integrate people into society dominant values. It
can deter youth from deviant and antisocial behaviour.
Ingham refers to public sporting events as serialized civic rituals; sport acts as quasi-
religious events in which ideals of communities become represented and reaffirmed.
Acts symbolically to represent what is important for communities and ties the people in
them together.
Although the theory is criticized. It views all elements of society as necessary and food;
poverty, violence, crime, racism and others - how are they thought of as positive?
Conflict Theory
The idea that economic conditions lay the foundation for social life is really at the core of
Marx’s theory.
He observed that classes emerged based on their ability to wrest control over economic
resources and the means of producing goods.
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