The Sociology of Sports

Sports are a variety of competitive, organised activities designed to use, improve or maintain physical ability and skills. They are played between individuals or in teams, and often involve hundreds of participants at the same time.

Socialization Through Sports

Sports have long been regarded as a socially beneficial activity for young people, particularly those who are disadvantaged in the areas of education, employment, and health. They are claimed to develop self-discipline, leadership, and other desirable traits in young athletes. However, sociological surveyors have shown that these benefits are overstated and that involvement in sports can lead to a range of undesirable behaviours such as bullying, antisocial behavior, and cheating.

Cultural Construction of Identity

Sports can contribute to the formation and maintenance of specific views about national identity. This has sometimes been seen as a conservative force, but it has also been associated with liberal nationalist political struggles.

Emotional Management in Sport

Elite athletes experience a series of scripts to guide their emotions before and during a contest, largely based on previous experiences. This process is repeated by coaches and media pundits who provide cues to fans as to how to respond to particular events in a game.

The Globalization of Sports

The modern globalization process has influenced the development of sports, especially professional and elite sports. It has involved the rapid movement of money, images, and ideas around the world. In addition to generating a wide range of international economic relationships, these processes have also shaped sports culture.