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John J. Coakley On The Sociology Of Sport

1367 words - 5 pages

Have you ever been walking through a department store and noticed someone watching you; or have you ever noticed how some friends act different around other friends? Sociology is the study of these and other social behaviors and how people interact with others in groups. The sociology of sport is seen as a subdivision of sociology where the main focus is on the relationship between society and sport. There are many ways to analyze the sociology of sport. One way is to look behind what society sees as real to see if things are really as they seem. Another way to analyze the sociology of sport is to objectively look at other views to gain another perspective. Also, a researcher could analyze the sociology of sport through a more scientific viewpoint by gathering information or by experimenting and then analyzing the information. The cultural analysis framework is yet another method to analyze the sociology of sport. It divides into two phases: the analytic and synthetic phases. In the analytic phase researchers would review such factors as the norms and roles of society and individuals. In the synthetic phase researchers would review other factors such as institutions and social classes.

In Coakley's analysis of the sociology of sport he describes the differences between sociology and psychology and he also explains how sports directly and indirectly affect a variety of areas in human lives. The basis of his analysis, what everything in his analysis refers back to, is a list of major goals. These goals are the starting point to understanding the sociology of sport.

The first goal in Coakley's list is to understand the relationship between sport and family, education, politics, media and religion (Coakley, 10). Coakley touches upon each of the relationships near the end of his analysis giving some detailed examples. He describes how sport affects each of the major institutions of society which is a good example of how Coakley uses the synthetic phase of the cultural analysis framework. This section of his analysis also helps us to see that sport affects every aspect of American society which explains why sport is a cultural complex in America and many developed countries.

The next goal on Coakley's list is to understand the social organization, group behavior and social interaction patterns that exist within sport settings (Coakley, 10). Coakley discusses how violence is associated with some sport organizations and not others. He goes on to explain how sociologists attempt to discover patterns of violence throughout a variety of social settings. Sociologists find solutions to problems by proposing to restructure society and culture because the problems that they look at are not problems of an individual, but problems of a whole society. So, sociologists may conclude that restructuring of the organization of sport is needed. Restructuring the organization could threaten jobs of some of the powerful heads of these...

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