Dress Codes at Work

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  • Published : November 14, 2005
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Michael Jones
Soc 543
Extra Credit

For this extra credit assignment I chose to watch an airing of ESPN SportCenter. The issue which I thought to be a major social problem regarding sport that was addressed in this show was the new found dress code implemented into the NBA that all of the players were to follow. This issue would not be considered so highly controversial if it had simply stated that players wear "business casual" attire when entering and leaving the stadium and when they are engaged in team or league business. The problem came when the dress code included no wearing of medallions, headphones, sunglasses (indoors) and other attire and accessories that a vast number of African American players on teams had been wearing since they began playing in the NBA. This is not to say that Whites did not also enjoy these "luxuries" but the majority of players in the NBA who were seen with medallions and headphones on were of African American descent. This problem can be viewed from many different angles. If you look at this issue from a Structural Functionalist point of view then the new dress code can be considered a latent function of our society. To most of the players and society as a whole the changes were unanticipated and unrecognized. Why couldn't they just have gone about implementing the dress code as they had in other major sports such as football and hockey? In these sports dress codes are in place but with less emphasis placed on what you can and can not wear. The players understand what they should wear to meet the "business casual" dress code and for the most part abide by it. If they do not follow the dress code a fine is issued to the player. But the NBA players are expected to not wear certain items or clothing to meet the dress code and if they do not follow these rules they will not be given a fine like football or hockey but instead given warnings of their conduct then possibly face game suspensions if they do not follow...
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