Deviance in Sport

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Deviance in Sport

  1. 1. Quotes (cited in Coakley (2007)<br /><ul><li>Where do acceptable practices end and cheating begin? Why is it okay for a cyclist to sleep in an oxygen tent but not okay to inject EPO?
  2. 2. Paula Parrish, Journalist, 2002: If I hadn’t had the injections [of painkillers], I don’t think I would have been able to skate.</li></ul> Johnny Weir, two-time U.S. figure skating champion, 2005<br />
  3. 3. Problems Faced WhenStudying Deviance in Sports<br />Forms & causes of deviance are diverse, and no single theory can explain them<br />Behavior accepted in sports may be deviant in other social situations<br />
  4. 4. Problems Faced WhenStudying Deviance in Sports<br />Deviance in sports often involves unquestioned acceptance of norms rather than a rejection of norms<br />Training & performance have become medicalized<br />
  5. 5. Problems Faced WhenStudying Deviance in Sports<br />“If they had more rules and better enforcement, all this deviance would stop.”<br />“Being too moralistic about our games is like going to the circus and being indignant about how the clowns act.”<br />
  6. 6. Using Conflict Theory to Define Deviance<br />Deviance involves behaviors that interfere with the interests of those with economic power<br />The behavior of those who lack power is more likely to be labeled as deviant<br />Those who deviate often are victims of exploitation in a system characterized by inequalities<br />The problem of deviance will be minimal when power is equally distributed in society<br />
  7. 7. Using Functionalist Theory to Define Deviance<br />Deviance involves a rejection of accepted goals or the means of achieving goals in society<br />Conformity is equated with morality<br />Deviance is caused by faulty socialization or inconsistencies in the social system<br />Deviance is controlled by getting tough and enforcing more rules more strictly<br />
  8. 8. Using Interactionist & CriticalTheories to Define Deviance<br />Most deviance in sports is not due to the moral bankruptcy of athletes or process of economic exploitation<br />Much deviance in sports involves over conformity to established norms in sports<br />Sport deviance must be understood in terms of the normative context of sport cultures and the emphasis on “the sport ethic”<br />
  9. 9. Fictitious Billboard<br />Jay and Tim: America’s most loved gay couple.<br />
  10. 10. Real Billboard<br />Dexter: Americas most loved serial killer.<br />
  11. 11. The Sport Ethic<br />A cluster of norms that many people in power and performance sports have accepted and reaffirmed as the dominant criteria for defining what it means, in their social worlds, to be an athlete and to successfully claim a identity as an athlete.<br />
  12. 12. The Norms of the Sport Ethic<br /><ul><li>An athlete makes sacrifices for “the game”
  13. 13. An athlete strives for distinction
  14. 14. An athlete accepts risks and plays through pain
  15. 15. An athlete accepts no limits in the pursuit of possibilities</li></ul>Sports are so exhilarating and thrilling that athletes want to play, and they will do almost anything to continue to do so<br />Being selected by coaches and managers is more likely when athletes over conform to the sport ethic<br />
  16. 16. Athletes Most Likely to Over-Conform to the Sport Ethic<br />Those who have low self-esteem or are so eager to be accepted by their peers in sport that they will make whatever sacrifices they think others want them to make<br />Those who see achievements in sport as their only way to get ahead, make themselves a name, and become important in the world<br />
  17. 17. Social Processes in Elite Power & Performance Sports<br />Bond athletes in ways that normalize over conformity to the sport ethic<br />Separate athletes from the rest of the community while inspiring awe and admiration among community members<br />Lead athletes to develop HUBRIS – that is, a sense of arrogance, separateness, and superiority<br />
  18. 18. Hypotheses About DevianceAmong Athletes<br />Deviance becomes more likely when<br />Social bonds normalize risk taking<br />Athletes are separated from the rest of the community<br />Athletes develop extreme degrees of hubris<br />When people in the community see athletes as being special because they engage in extreme behaviors<br />
  19. 19. Controlling Deviant Over- Conformity in Sports<br /><ul><li>Learn to identify the forms and dynamics of overconformity among athletes
  20. 20. Raise critical questions about the meaning, organization, and purpose of sports</li></ul>Create norms in sports that discourage overconformity to the sport ethic<br />Help athletes to learn to strike a balance between accepting and questioning rules and norms in their sports<br />
  21. 21. Research on Deviance Among Athletes<br />Cheating, dirty play, fighting, & violence are less common today than in the past<br />This historical finding contradicts popular perceptions. Many people think deviance is more common today because there are more rules than ever before, and expectations for conformity are greater.<br />
  22. 22. Research on Deviance Among Athletes<br />Off the Field Deviance<br />Athletes do not have higher delinquency rates than those who do not play sports<br />Data on academic cheating is inconclusive<br />Athletes have higher rates of alcohol use & binge drinking<br />Felony rates among adult athletes do not seem to be out of control, but they do constitute a problem<br />
  23. 23. Is Sport Participation a Cure for Deviant Behavior?<br />Research suggests that playing organized sports might discourage deviance when they emphasize:<br />1. A philosophy of nonviolence<br />2. Respect for self and others<br />3. The importance of fitness and control over self<br />4. Confidence in physical skills<br />5. A sense of responsibility<br />
  24. 24. DON’T FORGET<br />Athletes are not the only ones in sports who engage in deviant behavior. Think of other examples involving:<br />Coaches<br />Administrators<br />Team owners<br />Agents<br />Parents<br />Spectators<br />

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