Illustrate what is distinct about how sociologists seek to understand the sporting world?
Sociology can be used to explore sport as ‘social phenomena’ and explain thoughts and ideologies. Sociologists have a unique view relating sport with social life, uncovering deeper meaning and allowing us to see things from new perspectives (Coakley 2007:4)
Malcolm (2012) identified that there is a gender divide in sport with ‘19% of women compared to 24% of men taking part in regular sport in 2005-6’. Scientists believe that the differences in choices of sport and behaviour could be due to hormonal factors (Hamalambos and Holborn 2004). Hormones can affect the physical characteristics that influence sporting choices and regularity for women, men having higher Vo2 max, more muscle strength and less fat. However sociologists aim to work out the social reasons behind lack of female participation and sporting choices. Critical feminists believe that men dictate the sporting preferences, have power in sport and suggest that women’s views on changes and preferences in sport are not considered (Coakley 2007). They believe that men have dominance over women and the role in sport we play is determined by our personalities. If you are tough and aggressive you will be successful in competition while if kind and caring then you are more suited to the role of administrator or helper. The latter being associated with femininity and suggesting not many women are participating in sports due to lack of competitiveness not our physical characteristics (Coakley 2007). Sociologists would argue that women have always been governed by men and struggle for their own liberation against men (Bryson 1999.) Therefore when it comes to changing sporting ideologies sociologists believe it is hard for women to rise up against men and get involved.
With the world modernising and need for capital increasing, sport is becoming more business orientated. Marxism suggests the key to understanding...