Marxist Theory and Sport Essay

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This essay will be an attempt to bring together the ideas from our class readings about the Marxist sociological perspective as well as insight from other readings to further my understanding of Marxism and its applications to sport. I will lay the groundwork for the theory then proceed with how his theory is applied to accessibility issues in sport, distribution of power in sport and commercialization of sport.
Basics of Marxist Theory
The most widely used political and ideological system of thought is that of Karl Marx. Marxism is a set of ideas trying to provide an explanation for human society. Although a little over a hundred years old his theories and thoughts have led to coups, revolutions and new waves theories and academics. As
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Improving one's own position within their social hierarchy in society is impossible for the Proletariat: there is no social mobility, meritocracy (a system of social stratification based on personal merit) and/or ladder-system, as the class being born into will already determine the position in the social hierarchy (Lecture Notes, 2005). The polarization between these two classes is obvious and conflict will occur as a result of inequalities.
The Marxist's perspective is dominantly based on economic factors and over emphasizes them; money is assumed to be everything within society and social life. In my view, something is clearly missing here such as values and other social factors. Assuming that money is everything within society leads to assumptions that those owning the productive and therefore economic resources are given the power and use it to control those without to maintain their hegemony. Further factors that can form and shape society like gender, ethnicity, age, culture etc. are not taken into consideration and neglected. Hence the Marxist perspective focuses on having versus not having, earning versus not earning and powerful versus powerless.
Marxism and Sport
Marxism tries to identify which sports are accessible to whom. A recent example: in contemporary
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