Canadian Sport and Class Inequality

Topics: Social class, Working class, Middle class Pages: 7 (2658 words) Published: February 14, 2001
Canadian sport is divided amongst its classes. Not all people engage in the same sports or do the same things to stay physically active. In following pages, I have critically examined explanations on how to tell there are differences within classes, and what these differences mean to sport and physical activity in Canada.

After examining some reasons why there is division within classes in Canadian sport, I will discuss what steps or measures would be necessary to take in order to achieve equality among the classes. I will suggest some things we can do to mesh all classes together in a unified plan. I will show how Canadian sport would be different if we lived in a ‘utopia' of equality among classes – essentially having no classes. Class equality may not be what is best for sport in Canada. I will also weigh whether or not it would be best for Canada to be without classes in its sporting system.

I will conclude with my recommendations on what steps must be taken for the future of Canadian sport to ensure the most efficient and equal program is in place for everyone.
Class is very closely related to money and income. The more money you have or the more money your household brings in, the higher status you have. Power is also related to class and may not always belong to the coaches. In formally organized sports it may be who has the knowledge or resources desired to play the game that has the most significant amount of power. "Formally organized sports could not be developed, scheduled or maintained without material resources."4 This certainly implies that some people hold a significant amount of power over others and remain in a class above others in sports. It should also be noted that formally organized sports are not democratic. The idea of class division is fully entertained when defining, "Rich and powerful people tend to be defined as worthy winners, while the poor and powerless tend to be defined as lazy losers." To say there is a division of classes within sport without clearly defining each specific class, we must take a class logic mindset. Class logic can be interpreted as "economic success (winning) becomes proof of individual ability, worth, and character." I must also mention the class logic comes to emphasize achievement through individual competition and domination over others.3 As we enter a new millennium, it is easy to draw conclusions on some things that have happened in the last. Looking back we can see that the amount of money an athlete in a sporting event has, or how much money their family has, is directly correlated to how much money they can spend on their sporting event. Even looking back to 1983 we can easily note that golf courses show and promote a division of classes. Golf course green fees ranged from 3 dollars to 27 dollars for public courses while green fees were as high as 65 dollars for private courses . Private courses that felt they were in competition with public courses raised their price even higher, which makes little sense economically, unless you entertain the concept of class division. Golf course structure is also a marker showing division within classes. "Golf-course design reflects the society that pays for, builds and utilizes it." The greater the golf course, the more prestige and higher class is associated with that golf course. Resorts have lately been encompassing golf courses in their array of physical activities to offer and have taken golf's class division along with it. "Resorts (and their golf courses) have become a showcase to attract (tourists)…" Following along with other examples already shown, when we look back to 1986 and see that 57% of resorts are private and only 14% are public (26% belong in resort chains) we can once again see a clear division of private and public. The same clarity can be seen in athletic clubs – 70% of racquetball and multipurpose clubs are reserved for the private sector. It is also easy to see that "More than ever...

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