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This Essay Is About How The Concept Of The "Social Construction Of Reality" Is Incorrect Because Of Women And Elderly Athlete Participation.

1190 words - 5 pages

The Oxford English dictionary states that the work athlete is derived from the word athlos. The word athlos translated to the English language means "to content for a prize." Based on the humanistic study of language, and literature the term athlete has come to mean a competitor in physical exercise. It also comes to mean an individual who by special training and exercise has acquired great physical strength.... a physically powerful, robust, vigorous man." This definition leads us to believe that only men can be athletes. What is sexism? This should be the next question we ask ourselves. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on sex. The Senior Olympics breaks the barriers of age, and sex in sport involvement. The conception of athlete promoted by the Senior Olympics can be used to change our dominant sport culture (Foucault).After watching television, flipping though magazine advertisements, and newspaper articles, the stereotyping of men and women is so apparent; however, society is extremely blind to it. The social construction of reality states that all ideas arise from human social existence (Foucault). This social existence of these advertisements, magazines and television are external social norms that build our individual character. Meanings are collective interpretations of situations, ideas, objects, and events (Foucault). Due to existing stereotypes of femininity in today's society, women become both sexualized and childlike under a male gaze. Whether it is sports or clothing preferences, gender roles are created in every realm of life in society. Parents teach their children gender roles at a very early age. Gender role refers to the attitudes, behavior, and activities that are socially defined as images of others, and sustain group boundaries that come to be taken for granted (Foucault).The dominant culture conception of the athlete leads us to believe that there is a very select few that can be classified as athletes. Based on this definition, many individuals who participate in sporting activities, normally separate from society's norm, are left out of the defined spectrum of the word athlete. First and foremost, from the definition of the athlete above, one comes to believe that only a man can truly be an athlete. In the definition of athlete is frankly states, "... a physically powerful, robust and vigorous man." Women and children athletes are completely taken out of the definition of athlete. The definition fails to realize that athletes don't necessarily have to be men of great statue and body physic.In conclusion, throughout history the participation of women and elderly in athletic competition has been limited because of the social norms and processes developed by human social existence. For particularly women, in today's society, women roles reflect on what people think about society's norms and the values of such (Foucault). However, increase participation in sport and...

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