Sports

Topics: Sociology, Aggression / Pages: 10 (2477 words) / Published: Feb 27th, 2014
scussions of violence in sports, like discussions of deviance, are often connected with people’s ideas about the moral condition of society as a whole. When athletes engage in quasi-criminal violence on the fi eld or criminal violence off the fi eld, many people see it as evidence that the moral foundation of society is eroding. They fear that young people who look up to athletes as role models are learning a warped sense of morality. Statements about violence in sports are often confusing. Some people say that violence is an inherent part of many games, whereas others say that it destroys the dynamics of games. Some people say that violence in sports refl ects natu- ral tendencies among males in society, whereas others say that men use violence in sports to promote the idea that physical size and strength is a legitimate basis for maintaining power over others. Some say that violence in sports is worse today than ever before, whereas others say it is less common and less brutal than in the past. Contradictory statements and conclusions about violence in sports occur for four reasons. First, many people fail to defi ne important terms in their discussions. They use words such as physical, assertive, tough, rough, competitive, intense, intimidating, risky, aggressive, destructive, and violent interchangeably. Second, they may not distinguish players from spectators, even though the dynam- ics of violence differ in these two groups. Third, they categorize all sports together, despite dif- ferences in meaning, purpose, organization, and amount of physical contact involved. Fourth, they may not distinguish the immediate, short-term effects of experiencing or watching violence in sports from more permanent, long-term effects. The goal of this chapter is to enable you to include information based on research and theo- ries in your discussions of violence in sports. Chapter content focuses on fi ve topics: 1. A practical defi nition of violence and related

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