Sociology of North American Sport

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  • Edition: 10th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/20/2015
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Now in its tenth edition, Sociology of North American Sport offers a compact yet comprehensive and integrated perspective on sport in North American society. Bringing a unique viewpoint to the subject, George H. Sage and D. Stanley Eitzen analyze and, in turn, demythologize sport. This method promotes an understanding of how a sociological perspective differs from common-sense perceptions about sport and society, helping students to understand sport in a new way.

Author Biography

George H. Sage is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Kinesiology at the University of Northern Colorado.

D. Stanley Eitzen is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Colorado State University.

Table of Contents


Part I: Toward an Understanding of Sport

Chapter 1: The Sociological Analysis of Sport in North American Society
An Overview of Sociology of Sport as a Field of Study
The Pervasiveness of Sport
The Discipline of Sociology
Assumptions of the Sociological Perspective
Thinking as a Sociologist: Sociological Imagination
Units of Sociological Analysis
Micro and Macro Levels and This Book
Sociological Theories: Contrasting Ways to See and Understand Social Life
Conflict Theory
Conflict/Cultural Social Theories
Interactionist Theory
Sociological Theories and Sociology of Sport: Our Position
Sport as a Microcosm of Society
Common Characteristics of Sport and Society
Levels of Sport
Informal Sport
Organized Sport
Corporate Sport
Web Resources

Chapter 2: Social and Cultural Transformations and the Rise of Sport in North America
Pre-Columbian and Colonial Traditions in North America
The Colonists Restrict Physical Activities
Early Nineteenth Century: Takeoff of Industrialization, Technology, and Organized Sport
Building a Framework for Organized Sport
The Technological Revolution and Sport
Latter Nineteenth Century: The Beginnings of Modern Sport
Urbanization and the Rise of Modern Sport Forms
Technological Innovation and Sport: Transportation
Technological Innovation and Sport: Communication
Technological Innovation and Equipment to Play Modern Sports
Other Technological Breakthroughs and Sport
The Cult of Manliness and Sport
Muscular Christianity and Intellectual
Social Philosophy and Organized Sport
Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: The Modern World and Sport
The Maturing of Modern Sport
Twentieth-Century Technology and Sport: Transportation
The Technological Revolution and Sport: Communication
Other Technological Innovations and Sport
Sport in Education
Web Resources

Chapter 3: Sport and North American Culture and Values
Culture, Values, and Social Theories
The North American Value System
Individual Striving for Success
Competition: The Fundamental Social Process
The Socially Valued Means to Achieve
Progress Overcomes the Status Quo
Materialism: Acquisitions and Consumption
Social Conformity
North American Social Values and Sport
Competition and Success in Sport
The Valued Means to Achievement in Sport
Progress in Sport
Materialism in Sport
External Conformity in Sport
Web Resources

Chapter 4: Social Problems and North American Sport: Violence, Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders, and Gambling
Overview of Social Problems in Sport
Social Theories and Social Problems
Examples of Recent Social Problems in Sport
Violence in North American Society
Violence in Historical Context
Contemporary Violence in North America
Violence in Sport: Terminology, Theories
Is It Violence or Aggression? Confusion in the Literature
Theories About the Connection Between Aggressive Behavior and Sport
Aggression Theories and Research on Sports
Violence in North American Sport
Violence as Part of North American Sports
Fostering and Supporting Player Violence
Violent Behavior of Athletes in Their Personal Lives
Sources for Violence by Male Athletes in Their Private Lives
Athletes' Violence Against Teammates: Hazing
Sports Fans: Violent and Abusive Actions
Substance Abuse and Sport
Substance Abuse Not New to Sports
The Scope of Current Substance Abuse in Sport
Anabolic Steroids: Promises Big and Strong
Sports Anti-Doping Programs in North America
Social/Cultural Influences and Substance Abuse Among Athletes
Can Substance Abuse in Sports Be Reduced, Even Prevented?
Eating Disorders in Sport
Gambling and Sports
Web Resources

Part II: Sport and Structured Inequality

Chapter 5: Sport, Social Stratification, and Social Mobility
Terminology and Theory in Social Stratification and Mobility
Basic Terminology in Social Stratification
Functional Theory and Social Stratification
Conflict/Cultural Theories and Social Stratification
Dimensions of Inequality
Social Class and Sport
Adult Participation Preferences for Sports by Socioeconomic Status
Youth Sport Participation by Socioeconomic Status
Spectator Preferences for Sports by Socioeconomic Status
Segregation in Sports by Social Class
Social Mobility and Sport
Sport as a Mobility Escalator
Demythologizing the Social Mobility-Through-Sport Hypothesis
Web Resources

Chapter 6: Racial-Ethnic Minorities and Sport
Racial-Ethnic Minorities: Social Theories and Relevant Concepts
Social Theories and Race and Minorities
Relevant Concepts About Race
Sports Participation Among Racial-Ethnic Minorities
The History of African American Involvement in U.S. Sport
Latino Involvement in North American Sport
Asian American Involvement in North American Sport
Native North American Involvement in Sport
The Effects of Globalization on Ethnic Diversity in North American Sport
African American Dominance in Sport
Race-Linked Physical Differences
Race-Linked Cultural Differences
Social Structure Constraints
Racial Discrimination in Sport
Leadership, Administration, and Authority
Web Resources

Chapter 7: Gender in North American Sport: Continuity and Change
Social Theories and Gender Relations
Constructing and Reproducing Gender Relations Through Sport
The Heritage of Gender Inequality in Sport
Social Sources of Gender Inequality in Sport
Parental Child-Rearing Practices and Gender Construction
The School and Gender Construction
The Mass Media and Gender Construction
Nicknames, Mascots, and Heroines
Females Surmount Social Barriers to Participation in Sport
Negative Myths
Women's Struggle for Opportunity and Equality in Sport
From Boys-Only Youth Sports to Opportunities for Both Sexes
Title IX: Federal Government Support for Gender Equity
Toward Gender Equity in High School Sports
Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Sports
Men Rule in the Coaching and Administration of Women's Sports
High School and College Women's Coaching Positions
High School and College Administrative/Management Positions
Ownership, Management, and Coaching in Professional and Olympic Sports
Coaching and Administration/Management in U.S. and Canadian Olympic Organizations
Reasons for the Persistence of Men in Coaching and Administering Women's Sports
Women Athletes' Careers at the Professional and Olympic Levels of Sport
Female Olympic Athletes
Sport, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation
Web Resources

Part III: From Organized Sport to Corporate Sport: Youth Through College

Chapter 8: Youth and Sport
Youth Sports Programs: Something for Everyone
Social Theories and Youth Sports
The Rise of Youth Sports Programs: The Takeoff and Expansion of a New Form of Sport
Objectives of Youth Sports Programs
What Do Young Athletes, Their Parents, and Coaches Want from Sports?
Socialization and Sport: Involvement in Sport and Its Consequences
Socialization into Sport: Why Do Children
Mass Media
Participants: Youth Athletes
Socialization via Sport: Process and Outcomes
Two Forms of Play: Peer Group and Adult-Organized
Development of Personal-Social Attributes Through Sport
Youth Orientation Toward Sport
Sportsmanship in Youth Sports
Character Development in Youth Sports
Potential Psychosocial Problems in Youth Sports
Adult Intrusion in Youth Sports
Risk of Injury
The "Winning Is the Only Thing" Ethic and Youth Sports
Sports Alternatives for the Young Athlete
Emphasizing Personal Growth and Self-Actualization
Alternative Sports
Cooperative Games
Youth Sports Coaches
Bill of Rights for Young Athletes
Web Resources

Chapter 9: Interscholastic Sport
The Role of High Schools: Differing Interpretations
The Status of Sport in Secondary Schools
The Consequences of Sport for Schools, Communities, and Individuals
The Consequences of Sport for the High School
The Consequences of Sport for the Community
The Consequences of Sport for Participants
Problems, Dilemmas, and Controversies
The Subversion of Educational Goals
The Reinforcement of Gender Roles
Unsportsmanlike Behavior of Fans
Autocratic Coaches
Excessive Pressures to Win
Sport Specialization
Budget Shortfalls
Corporate High School Sport Programs
Efforts to Reform High School Sports
Web Resources

Chapter 10: Intercollegiate Sport
Beginning and Development of College Sports
Student-Centered College Sport Remains
College Sport as Big Business
Social Theories and Their Role in Colleges/Universities
Functionalism and Big-Time College Sports
Conflict/Culturalism and Big-Time College Sports
Beliefs and Reality About Big-Time Sport Functions
Further Consequences of the Commercial Orientation of Big-Time College Sports
A Contradiction: Athletes as Amateurs in a Big-Business Environment
The NCAA and Student-Athletes
The Enforcement of "Amateurism"
Appeals for Paying Athletes' a Salary
The Restriction of Athletes' Rights
Educational Performance and Student-Athletes
Academic Predictions for Student-Athletes at College
Academic Achievement and College Athletes
Graduation Rates and Student-Athletes
The Impediments to Scholarly Achievement by College Athletes
Reform Initiatives and Intercollegiate Sports
The Administration of Intercollegiate Sports
Emphasizing the Education of Student-Athletes
Commitment to Athletes' Rights
Web Resources

Part IV: Sport and Social Institutions

Chapter 11: Sport and the Economy
Professional Sport as a Business
Social Theories and the Economy
Professional Team Sports as Monopolies
Public Subsidization of Professional Team Franchises
Ownership for Profit
A Radical Question: Are Owners Necessary?
Who Benefits Economically from Sports?
Professional Athletes' Earnings
Auxiliary Professions and Occupations in Sport
Sport-Related Businesses
Corporate Advertising in Sport
The Relationship Between Owners and Athletes
The Draft and the Reserve Clause
Professional Team Sport Athletes Fight for Free Agency
Amateur Sport as a Business
The Ambiguous Case: Intercollegiate Sports and Amateurism
The Economics of Collegiate Sport
Web Resources

Chapter 12: Sport and the Mass Media
Social Roles of the Mass Media
Prominent and Subtle Roles of the Media
Mass Media and Social Theories
The Symbiosis of Mass Media and Sport
Enduring Linkages Between the Mass Media and Sport
Television: The Monster of the Sports World
Increasing TV Sports Coverage
Economic Aspects of Televised Sports
Television's Influence on Sport
Increases in Sport Revenue
Television Drives Shifts in Popularity of Sports
Professional Sports Franchise Locations and the Media
Television: The Financial Foundation for Big-Time Intercollegiate Sport
Television Taps High School Sports
Modifying Sports to Accommodate TV
Television's Own Sports
Televised Sport as a Mediated Event
The Impact of Sport on the Mass Media
Increased Sport in the Media
Sport's Privileged Treatment by the Media
Sports Consumers and the Mass Media
The Internet: The Newest Form of Mass Communications for Sports
Integration of the Internet, Television, Computers, and Video Games
Social Media: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter
Media Sport: Gender and Race Issues
Reproduction of Hegemonic Masculinity in Media Sport
Media Sport and Gender Inequities
Media Sport and Racial and Ethnic Inequities
Sports Journalism and the Mass Media
Sportscasters: Narrators of Mediated Sport
Minority Sport Journalists and Broadcasters
Women Sport Journalists and Broadcasters
Web Resources

Chapter 13: Sport and Politics
Politics as a Social Institution
Social Theories and Politics
Intertwining of Politics and Sports
The Political Uses of Sport
Sport as a Vehicle for Propaganda
Sport and Nationalism
Sport as an Opiate of the Masses
The Exploitation of Sport by Politicians
Sport as a Vehicle of Change in Society
Internationalization of Social Activism and Sport
Globalization and Sport
The Political Olympic Games
Political Problems and the Olympic Movement
Proposals for Reforming the Olympic Games
Web Resources

Chapter 14: Sport and Religion
The Relationship Between Religion and Society
Personal and Social Roles of Religion
Historical Affiliation Between Religion and Sport
Ancient Greece: Creators of Organized Sports Events
The Early Christian Church and Roman Sport Spectacles
Pre-Columbian Societies: Sport in the Americas
Reformation and Protestantism in the North American Colonies
Religious Objections to Sport Declined in the Nineteenth Century
Religion and Sport Conciliation
Sport as Religion
Similarities Between Sport and Religion
Critical Views About Sport-as-Religion
Religion Uses Sport
Religious Leaders Embrace Sport
Church Colleges and Universities
Religious Organizations and Sports
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Religion and Professional Sports Organizations
Sport and Religion Publications
Missionary Work of Churches and Sport
Religious Evangelizing by Athletes and Coaches
The Promise Keepers: Patriarchy, Gender, and Sexuality
Sportianity Confronting Social Issues
Value Orientations of Religion and Sport
The Protestant Ethic and Sports
Protestantism and Contemporary Sport
Sport Uses Religion
The Use of Prayer and Divine Intervention
The Use of Magic
Magic and Its Uses in Sports
Web Resources

Chapter 15: Contemporary Trends and the Future of Sport in North America
Demographic Trends in North America
Population Composition
Location of Population
Population Trends and Sport
Dominating Forces in Our Lives: Work, Technology, and Sporting Activities
An Information/Service North American Society
The Information/Service Workplace and Sporting Activities
A Future Society and Sport
Cerebral Sports of the Future
Violent Sports of the Future
Technology and Future Sport
A Counterpoint to Technosports: Ecosports
Trends in the Economy and Future Sports
The Future of Professional Sports
The Future of Televised Sports
Internet Technology and Sports Viewing
Video Technology and Sports Video Games
Intercollegiate Athletics and the Future
Secondary School Sports and the Future
Trends in Social Values and Future Sport
The Quest for Democracy and Equality
Trends in Sports Values
People With Disabilities and Sport
Senior Populations and Sport
LGBT in Sport
New Emphasis on Participation and Cooperation
A Troubling Trend: Sports Incivility
Web Resources

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