Conflict Theory Complete Discussion

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Question Description

I have attached the file below. please read the discussion lecture and complete the discussion question which is on the last page. The post must be minimum of 2 paragraphs. The topic is about sports/cultures. Complete the post from a guys perspective. Interested Sport: Basketball.


I have also attached Chapter 1 reading, you can use it if needed.

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DISCUSSION LECTURE:

For the second half of Chapter 1, I want us to focus on the various sociological theories that the authors discuss and I want us to practice applying these theories to the world around us and the sports that we are interested in.

Sociological theories often act as lens from which we can view the social world. They guide our thinking, narrow our focus, and help us notice aspects of the world that we might otherwise miss. We can think of our sociological theories as being similar to road maps. They simplify the world in order to allow us to understand it and navigate it. In addition, when we map the world, we create opportunities to change it, which then requires us to redraw the map. For example, think back to the gold rush that helped build California. In the mid 1800s, we might have seen a lot of maps that displayed California as a great place to mine for gold, but by 1900 those maps would not do a great job of representing reality and we would need to redraw them.

The first theory that our chapter discusses is functionalism. My definition of functionalism is a little different than our authors, and I'll discuss my definition in a later posting (I don't want to confuse you now), but our authors definition is that it allows us to see sport as a representation and reinforcement of the North American way of life. Our sports often promote competition, individualism, achievements, and playing by the rules, which are all key aspects of our way of life. Sport acts as a powerful tool to socialize youth and infuse desirable character traits such as accepting authority, striving for good health, and so on. For our authors, functionalism allows us to see how sport maintains society. (Read this section very closely in the chapter. Maybe read twice. It is that important.)

Conflict theory is our next key sociological theory. This theory is somewhat based off of Karl Marx’s work, which is often an extension of and response to Adam Smith’s work on capitalism. Conflict theorists do not see society as an organism that has many parts that are working together, instead they see society as made up by many parts that are battling for dominance and control. From this perspective, we usually see that those who are wealthy and powerful are using their resources to maintain their power over society. We are also alerted to how unequal power relations create disharmony, disruption, and instability. Unlike the functionalists, conflict theorists see the appearance of social harmony, stability, and consensus as an illusion. 

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DISCUSSION LECTURE: For the second half of Chapter 1, I want us to focus on the various sociological theories that the authors discuss and I want us to practice applying these theories to the world around us and the sports that we are interested in. Sociological theories often act as lens from which we can view the social world. They guide our thinking, narrow our focus, and help us notice aspects of the world that we might otherwise miss. We can think of our sociological theories as being similar to road maps. They simplify the world in order to allow us to understand it and navigate it. In addition, when we map the world, we create opportunities to change it, which then requires us to redraw the map. For example, think back to the gold rush that helped build California. In the mid 1800s, we might have seen a lot of maps that displayed California as a great place to mine for gold, but by 1900 those maps would not do a great job of representing reality and we would need to redraw them. The first theory that our chapter discusses is functionalism. My definition of functionalism is a little different than our authors, and I'll discuss my definition in a later posting (I don't want to confuse you now), but our authors definition is that it allows us to see sport as a representation and reinforcement of the North American way of life. Our sports often promote competition, individualism, achievements, and playing by the rules, which are all key aspects of our way of life. Sport acts as a powerful tool to socialize youth and infuse desirable character traits such as accepting authority, striving for good health, and so on. For our authors, functionalism allows us to see how sport maintains society. (Read this section very closely in the chapter. Maybe read twice. It is that important.) Conflict theory is our next key sociological theory. This theory is somewhat based off of Karl Marx’s work, which is often an extension of and response to Adam Smith’s work on capitalism. Conflict theorists do not see society as an organism that has many parts that are working together, instead they see society as made up by many parts that are battling for dominance and control. From this perspective, we usually see that those who are wealthy and powerful are using their resources to maintain their power over society. We are also alerted to how unequal power relations create disharmony, disruption, and instability. Unlike the functionalists, conflict theorists see the appearance of social harmony, stability, and consensus as an illusion. Conflict theorists who examine sport often critique the exploitation of athletes and examine how sports assist the elites achieve their goals in society. They may question the notion that hard work equals success. Those of us who may not be natural athletes have probably come to realize that no amount of practice will ever get us into the elite rankings. Conflict theorists may understand sport as a distraction from the harsh realities of life. Sport may allow us to (temporarily) ignore poverty, job insecurity, debt, unequal life opportunities, and so on. Moreover, conflict theorists may point to sport as a being a false hope for marginalized groups in society. They critique the notion that sport is a true opportunity for upward mobility, because only a handful of athletes ever become professionals. In basketball, only 1% of high school basketball players make it on to Division I teams, and from there only 1% of those players will make it to the NBA. This is not exactly a realistic option for vast majority of people. Conflict theorists may be heavily critical of the NCAA, because the NCAA acts as a very large business, the NCAA still resists title IX, and the NCAA may exploit many of its athletes. Think of Division I NCAA basketball players, especially those at the big ten schools. Some of the athletes in these programs are not only exploited for their labor, but the Adlers found in their study that the athletes are often used as props by wealthy boosters. The players basically become ornaments at the wealthy boosters’ parties. Whether they have a test the next day or not, they are expected to parade around the party. Within conflict theory we find three sub-theories: hegemony, feminist, and critical race. Hegemony doesn’t look simply at class, but expands into social, cultural, and ideological aspects of power and domination. Theorists who use hegemony as their road map to understand the world, highlight the role that the dominant groups pay in government, economics, the media, education, and sport. Hegemony theorists question many of the key institutions within society. Instead of seeing sport as positive socialization, they may see the socialization as breeding obedience and a desire to work hard for a system that doesn’t necessarily benefit the players. Hegemony theorists often see the status quo as a negative rather than a positive. They see that those with social, political, and economic power can shape the public’s views. Using hegemony theory to understand sport requires us to stand back and look at sport as a cultural practice that is embedded in political, economic, and ideological formations. (Note: these theorists usually are not critiquing the doctor down the road, but those within the most powerful positions in society.) There is no one single feminist theory, but generally we can say that those who examine the world and sport through a feminist perspective are engaging in a struggle for political, social, economic, and educational equality for women. Feminist theories began as critiques of the dominant social theories that did not include women or did not take women’s issues seriously. This can most easily be seen in criminological theories. Many of the early theories on crime simply focused on men. For example, in early subcultural research theorists said that working-class young men would create and enter subcultures in order to gain status in a new social system. The young men weren’t able to gain status in traditional ways, so they created a new form of social life where they could be on top. This makes a lot of sense for young men, but when we look at early subcultures we see many women retaining the same subordinate and traditional role that they played in mainstream culture. Why did the women join subcultures? The original theory offers no explanation for the young women's behavior. Moreover, early criminological theories were not very good at explaining why men and women get very different punishments for the same crime. Why is it that women likely get lighter sentences for violent crime, but harsher sentences for sexual crimes? No, general theory could explain these differences. Feminist theories rest on two fundamental assumptions: 1) human experiences are gendered and 2) women are oppressed within patriarchy and have commitment to change those conditions. Within sport feminist theorists look at sport as being a gendered activity in which men have the majority of the power. They argue that the current structure ideologically controls women through under representation and the trivialization of female athletic accomplishments. Moreover, they critique the hidden discourse of homophobia, and critique the notion that women are unnatural athletes and that female athletes are unnatural women. We can see the inequality in gender when it comes to pay and in representation on TV. As Zirin pointed out, women’s sports actually receive less time on TV than they did at the turn of the century. Critical race theory is a framework which explores the racism in society that privileges whiteness and disadvantages people of color. Within this perspective, racism is understood to be through rooted in society. Racism permeates society’s social structures and practices. Critical race theorists argue that anti-racism should be mainstream into the core of sports. Moreover, they attempt to negotiate sports dual role as a reinforce of racist ideology and an instrument of opportunity for people of color. They question the lack of leadership roles filled by people of color and question the power imbalance among the races within sport. Symbolic interactionist theory is rather different than that of the previous theories. This is a theory that can sometimes be a bit difficult to wrap our heads around. This theory exclusively focuses on how people give meaning to their lives. It focuses on how individuals and groups interpret and attach meaning to objects, performances, and people. Theorists who use this lens to view the world argue that there is no inherent meaning in anything. For example, we often point to homicide as always being wrong. Except homicide in war becomes a badge of honor and some believe that murder is an appropriate way to respond to some crimes. (Executions are labeled as homicides on one’s death certificate.) Or, we can think of the recent NFL protests, there has been a great deal of controversy around what the players' actions actually represent. For symbolic interactionists, no meaning is inherent in an object, person, or act, instead through our interactions with others, we learn how to define, interpret, and react to various symbols in society. In sport S.I. theorists often want to determine how participants understand the world. Often these individuals focus on the socialization process, the exiting process, and the characteristics of subcultural sports. Each of the above theories has its own strengths and weaknesses. Few sociologists would defend any single theory as being "the correct theory," which theory we use may change based on our research goals and the topic at hand. Our authors’ view is critical of existing power arrangement. While functionalism fosters the status quo, our authors challenge the notion that the status quo is the ideal. The authors seek to determine how the current social arrangements may be changed in order to enhance the human condition. Our authors acknowledge that sociology is rarely a comfortable discipline. Within sociology, we challenge the status quo, myths within society, and look behind doors that some would prefer were never opened. For your response to this, I would like you attempt to use one of these theories to interpret a sport that you are interested in. I would like you to find a clip from YouTube, an interview with an athlete, or an article about an event or athlete, and then interpret this media from the perspective of one our theories. At this point, don’t worry about being perfect, I just want you to give it your best shot. Finally, I have not mentioned it in this post, but please make sure you know how the authors describe sport as a microcosm of society on pages 18-19, and know the various levels of sport the authors discuss on pages 19-22. I have not summarized this part of the chapter because I think it is relatively straightforward. However, if you have questions on this section please send me an E-mail and we can discuss via E-mail or over the phone. DISCUSSION QUESTION: For your response to this, I would like you attempt to use one of these theories to interpret a sport that you are interested in. I would like you to find a clip from YouTube, an interview with an athlete, or an article about an event or athlete, and then interpret this media from the perspective of one our theories. At this point, don’t worry about being perfect, I just want you to give it your best shot. The post should be about two paragraphs longs. ...
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Tutor Answer

MrMark
School: UT Austin

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Running head: CONFLICT THEORY

Conflict Theory
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CONFLICT THEORY
Conflict Theory

Basketball is a sport am usually interested in. The sport entails two teams each consisting
of five people competing on a rectangular court usually referred to as a basketball court. It
involves one team trying to shoot the ball through the other team`s hoop while the ...

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Anonymous
Good stuff. Would use again.

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