Conflict Theory and the Social Phenomenon of Sports

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Daniel Cubbison SOC-360-001 Professor John Rice 12/10/12 Connecting the Conflict Theory and the Social Phenomenon of Sports In today’s world, competitive sports have become extremely popular and are an endeavor that men and women of all ages take part in. This social phenomenon allows its participants and spectators to communicate with one another, show genuine emotions, and alleviate social pressures by helping them escape from the real world, if only for a few hours. Perhaps already at its peak in popularity, sports will only continue to attract players and spectators over the upcoming years. From a sociological perspective, the subdiscipline of sports sociology began to emerge in the early 1970’s (Brown 10). This is because as previously stated, the increasing popularity of sports and the role they play in millions of people’s lives. In 1978, the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport was recognized as an official and professional association. Sports sociology was created to examine the relationship between sports and society. This paper will focus on this relationship through the lens of the conflict theory. Pursuing this theory further, it is important to utilize the conflict theory because it helps to explain the issues and controversies the general public witness in sports and comprehensively interpret the social context in which they occur. The conflict theory defines society as a setting where social groups compete for resources and dominance, which results in a dominant group asserting itself over a subordinate group (UNC 2). As explained in class, the dominant group socially controls the subordinate group through power, authority, coercion, and manipulation. The dominant group is described as the bourgeoisie. This group consists of the owners and capitalists that are driven by making money and producing commodities to do so. The

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