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The Significance Of Sporting Event Rituals

1067 words - 4 pages

Durkheim’s theoretical approach of rituals, presents a unique perspective that describes the important social rituals that take place in today’s society such as churches, funerals, weddings, and sporting events. Throughout his theory, Durkheim describes different social groups and explains how these beliefs and practices are directly related to the rituals and actions that are associated with them. Durkheim presents a relationship between the behaviors of ritual and devotion to social order. Many rituals often have sacred items that provide individuals with a significant meaning or set of specific beliefs, which connect them to a particular group. Sporting events are popular in today’s culture, however, many have not looked at this event from a different theoretical prospective. Sacred items such as team logos, sporting gear, and use of team colors are all symbols that relate one person to the next. The rituals presented in a sporting event can also be understood by Durkheim’s theoretical philosophies.
The baseball games were conducted at Heritage Park on March 22, 2014. This sporting event presented many traditions that seemed to be a vital part of the experience fans and players sought to attain. The rituals that were practiced before the game were seen through people engaging in pregame celebrations. Observations of people gathering in large groups, to celebrate a common interest in their particular team were seen among most of the participants. These game day celebrations seem to be more common in our society today, especially in most sports where some fans may even spend their entire day, participating in these celebrations.
Fans seem to be the most involved when it comes to the celebrations. Some wear funny clothes, while others seem to have specific festivities that they follow before each game. These festivities are sort of “superstitious activities”, that serve a particular purpose in hopes that it will help their team win. Many of these fans seemed to be participating in the celebration, as means of fitting in. In other words these celebrations seemed to serve the purpose of gathering together and joining in certain tradition to produce a sense of cultural identity. This allows fans to become involved with the others around them. Many other fans give the impression of not having much interest in the celebrations at all; although they wore and participated in the same activities as others. I figured it had to be the pressure they felt by their social environments, like their family or friends influencing them to join in.
Social solidarity is “the level of integration in a society, blending and organizing of separate and diverse elements into a more complete, balanced whole” (Durkheim, in Allan, 2013, p. 133). Over two-hundred people attended the sporting event. Social solidarity began to emerge as both males and females from different races, ages, and economic classes were at the event. Collective consciousness according to Durkheim...

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