Minimum word count for each question: 300 words
1.Eitzen proposes several questions in his chapters that drive at the core of sport sociology. Two of those questions are central to the purpose of this course:
• Do we question the way sport is organized?
• Who benefits under the existing social arrangements and who does not?
a. With those questions in mind, explain some of the reasons we don’t question sport and how it is organized. In your response, consider what social arrangements you think should change in sport, and who has the power to make those changes. Also, consider if you think decision-makers in sport would agree with you on what needs to change.
2. Eitzen describes sport as a paradox that is seemingly trivial, but is embedded in American society. He also describes many aspects of sport that are appealing and important to the masses, but contrasts those with aspects that are quite appalling and dark.
a. Select one of the paradoxes in sport that Eitzen identifies and explain why that
particular paradox/duality caught your attention.
b. Follow up your explanation with some other aspect of sport in which you see a duality
or paradox. In other words, describe a phenomenon in sport that has two sides to it that Eitzen wasn’t able to get to in the chapters you read in this unit. Consider some of his points about “sociology in sport” to support your explanation of the paradox you identify and explain. For example, does the way sport is delivered match the purpose of it?
3. Eitzen closes his Sport Unites, Sport Divides chapter with the following statement:
We need to take sports seriously- not the scores or the statistics, but the process. Not to focus on who wins, but on who’s losing. By my count the losers in sport have been and continue to be the poor, racial minorities, and women. And, as long as these folks lose, sport will more likely divide than unify. (p. 45) Consider that, if sport is accepted as a microcosm of society, and in sports, certain groups of people are either
– excluded completely (e.g., kids with physical disability)
– or are categorized into specific sports or positions based on assumptions about characteristics associated with class, race, or gender…
a. Then why are sports revered as the great equalizer, or as a true meritocracy? Are
they, and if so, for whom?
b. Do we hide from or rationalize classist (rags to riches), racist, sexist, and ableist
practices embedded in the “process” of sport (as Eitzen identified it)? Or are those categories necessary to organize sport, and society?
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