Sociology of Sport Essay

1085 WordsSep 3, 20085 Pages
What is the social role of sport? To what extent does social structure influence the practice and experience of sport? Discuss in relation to two of the following: gender, class, ethnicity or Aboriginality, or region. Illustrate your answer with at least three examples from sporting contexts (local or international). Sport plays a huge role in today’s society. It contributes to one’s health and fitness, social interaction, social and motor skills, patriotism, fun and entertainment. It also stimulates the economy and tourism leading to interaction between different cultures, for example the Olympics, and sport role models. Sports clearly are an important part of cultures and societies around the world as such events as the Olympics…show more content…
“Women who play men’s sport have constantly to negotiate their status in traditional cultural contexts of men’s power and privilege, and in a general discourse of femininity, patriarchy and compulsory heterosexuality” (Craig & Beedie, 2008). An example of a female athlete being ridiculed for portraying society’s idea of non-femininity is Martina Navratilova. Martina was the first female tennis player who began to play tennis more as a power sport than a sport of technique. Subdued by an oppressive communist system that controlled the Czech Tennis Federation, she was seen to be playing in the style of men instead of playing women's tennis. As she did not fit into society's image of how a woman should look, behave and play tennis, she was ridiculed and branded as the proverbial ‘bad egg’ when compared to her contemporaries. Additionally, she was branded as a lesbian, which caused more hardship for her as she was forced to face a world which was much more homophobic at that time than it is now. Her sexual orientation is not a prime issue; it was something that was used against her and something that was assumed simply because she did not portray the feminine image that is expected of women. Another example includes Dutch Olympian Fanny Blankers-Koen, also known as ‘the flying housewife’, who was
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