What is sociology? Sociology is: “ the study of social life, including all forms of social interaction and relationships” (Coakley, 2003: 4)
Examine social life in context
Map out the connections between our lives and broader social worlds and processes
Critically examine the world we live in
Basic sociological assumptions:
We are social beings
We live in social worlds
We create, sustain and change the social forms within which we live our lives
Each discipline makes assumptions about individuals, sports and society = building blocks of discipline N.B: Within sociology there are several different theoretical positions, each of these has a further set of underlying assumptions.
Thinking sociologically about sports In this class we will be engaging our “sociological imaginations” (Mills, 1956: 1) and exploring sports from a sociological perspective: What does this mean? Debate & Discuss: Great athletes are made and not born. Debate & Discuss: Colleges and High Schools should offer Girls’ Football
Asking sociological questions.. Power relations: Thinking critically about sports Private Troubles, Public Issues : Looking beyond the individual and personal performances towards the ways in which sports reflect and reproduce social problems, issues and concerns. Developing knowledge about sports to provide social commentary and/or effect change Debunking myths about sports Explore the ‘reality’ of sports: Looking past the rhetoric at how sports are rather than how they ought to be
Sociological Theories (1) Theories are simply a vantage point or lens through which to view social life.
guide our thinking
encourage us to focus on particular aspects of social life
provide us with tools to understand the complex social worlds in which we live
enable us to make informed decisions and recommendations about sports and sports participation in our lives, communities and societies
Theorizing involves a combination of description, reflection and analysis.
Sociological Theories (2)
There are many different types of sociological theories. These include:
Each theory gives us a different perspective from which to study the relationship between sports and society.
Recap What is sociology? What are the core assumptions of a sociological perspective and how can I apply them? What is the role of sociological theory? What are the names of the major sociological theories?
In the next class… Development of Modern Sport Reading & Reading Guide: See Course Handbook and Sakai