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Deviance In Sports. Essay

1359 words - 5 pages

Deviance In SportsDeviance In Sports As we the people of the world enter a new millennium many sociological problems can be viewed in everyday life. Problems, which often are confused and not well understood through the world's outlook. One such problem that this paper will focus on is "Deviance In Sports". This paper will discuss and elaborate on certain points and topics such as: 1. What is deviance? 2. How do acts of deviance influence the society of today when committed by athletic role models? 3. Why are male athletes found to engage in deviant acts more so than women? First, to understand and discuss the idea of deviance in sports one must ask the question what is deviance? The Random House College Dictionary defines the word deviate as characterized by "deviation from an accepted norm, as of behavior; a person or thing that departs from the accepted norm or standard". Alex Thio, the author of Sociology A Brief Introduction Third Edition defines deviance "as an act that is considered by public consensus or by the powerful at a given place and time to be a violation of some social rule". In today's society we find the word deviance to mean different things to different people, this is due to people having different opinions on whether an act violated a social norm or not. In the world of sports deviance is viewed differently on the playing field than if it were seen in the streets of a city or small town. In Jay J. Coakley's Sport in Society Sixth Edition, Coakley states, "what is normal in sports may be deviant outside of sports". "Athletes are allowed and even encouraged to behave in ways that are prohibited or defined as criminal in other settings". "For example, much of the behavior of athletes in contact sports would be classified as felony assault if it occurred on the streets". To better understand this, most sociologist like to use the Alternative Approach rather than the Absolutist or Relativist approaches. Coakley illustrates that the Alternative Approach states: "Deviance Can Be Negative or Positive". When one uses this approach they see that most behaviors fall into a normal range of acceptability in connection with any particular norm. Coakley also states "Deviance occurs when behaviors fall outside this range of what is acceptable on either side of a normally accepted range of behavior". With this in mind it can be seen in both Coakley and Thio's works that deviance can come from underconformity, which basically is a behavior that goes against accepted rules or set behaviors by a lack of knowledge for that rule (negative deviance); or by overconformity which basically is a behavior that follows accepted rules so close that it interferes with the well being of that person and those around him or her (positive deviance). With these ideas or guide lines for studying deviance in sports, sociologists are now able to understand what deviance actually is in sports and how it effects those people both directly or indirectly related to...

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