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Free «How Sport Contributes to the Continuation of Society» Essay Sample


Sport is one of the most popular professional and leisure activities of social and community life. Recent years, sport becomes an important part of state policies and national development strategies. Sport management is now involved in significant social changes. The most relevant of these changes for marketing are allied to the impact of shifting environmental forces. Trends in each of them and their effect on marketing can be noted. Sport management is faced with increasingly new social considerations; previously, the considerations were mainly managerial and profit oriented. The result is the evolution of the discipline of social marketing, which includes extending marketing to embrace nonprofit institutions. Sport for the masses, sport for all, poses no such philosophical issues and the last twenty years have seen this social phenomenon arise, grow and develop nationally and world wide. Sportmovement captures the spirit and feels of the time and finds echoes in the hearts, minds and bodies of men and women of every race, color and ideology irrespective of standard of performance. Sport for fun, for health, for social purposes is within the historical tradition of sport in Britain and today it is part of the life-style for a greater proportion of citizens than it was twenty-five years ago. Thesis Sport contributes to continuation of society through social values, tastes and a spirit of unity proposes by professionals and armatures.



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Discussion section

From functionalist perspective, sport is continuation of society as it proposes shared values and social traditions. The sport has two great claims to success; it is easy to play and the economics of provision are such that the capital cost could quickly be repaid by the users who are prepared to pay a more meaningful fee for their half-hour of violent activity than for other more traditional sports where low fees are the norm. Sport is often seen as a construction of social order and the core of social structure. Civil society, from this perspective, is in the service of the economy; families, associations, networks and cultural arrangements help create trust, credibility and literate consumers and workers. Sport values of participation and citizenship are lost from the equation, as is the central political concept that civil society is an autonomous sphere of social activity. Under such constraints, citizenship may help to build social capital, but they may not enhance or strengthen an autonomous civil society (Coakley, 2006, p. 37). Sport may thus play two alternative civic roles. On the one hand, they may operate as a source of alternative policy advice, articulating diverse points of view and contributing to plurality of political thought, so acting as powerful instruments for democratization. In Belarus, for example, sport as a social institution has challenged social orthodoxy and oppressive state controls on public debate. From functionalist point of view, sport can be easy to overstate the importance of citizenship in global policy processes. Citizenship issues are merely one actor in a sea of information among a vast range of non-state actors that also seek some influence or input to these new dynamics of decision-making and policy development. Whilst some of these organizations have links to the policy formation processes and have some kind of presence in the broader social-political system, their power or influence is limited, dependent and fluctuating. It may be less the case that citizenship has an impact on government and international organizations, and more that they are used by these organizations as tools to pursue their own interests in regional and global forums. Governments and international organizations also encourage the role that sport plays in second-track diplomacy, where an institute will act as an intermediary between conflicting groups. As non-state actors they represent neutral territory, and can convene ‘independent dialogues’ or closed seminars, which official representatives attend under the façade of acting in a private capacity However, those institutes called to play this kind of role tend to be elite, mainstream bodies, trusted within government. From conservative point of view, the number of citizenship institutions and their impact and influence is mounting. In Western countries these organizations have been part of the policy scene for many decades (Eitzen, 2009, p. 55).

In individualistic political culture, the role of sport has been conceived, alternately, as simply removing obstacles to personal freedom or, in its more progressive mode, as positively enabling individuals to have the means of making choices. These conceptions of negative and positive sport liberty have been argued over for more than a century. To see sport as the equivalent of class is to engage in economic and sociological determinism of a kind that leaves only class conflict as a solution to political problems (Coakley, 2006, p. 38). Sport allows increased participation of professional sportsmen in everyday actualities and increased support of coaching programs for new athletes. While this may be warranted in given historical situations, recent history has shown us that regimes that rule in the name of class are just as likely to be repressive as those that rule in the name of race. Similarly, identity-as-gender in a militant essentialist form leads away from the institutions and practices that make it possible for both sexes to live together on the basis of shared needs and interests. It is not the radicalism of the race, gender, class version of identity politics that is problematic, it is the one-sidedness of the concept of identity that underlies this formulation. What is missing is a way of seeing the dynamism and the possibilities for progressive change involved in the tension between the negative and positive identity elements, the particular and the universal, the given and the possible. The question identity-as-class raises is about how the distribution of economic rewards fits with the achievement of competence, the enhancement of integrity, and the sustenance of mutuality. Economic "means" are just that--means to these developmental ends. To resolve, through class warfare, differences in the distribution of these economic means leads into the repressive political environment that classical liberals, as well as conservatives, would criticize. What identity analysis has to offer, then, is a theory of market regulation and constraint. Viewed from a developmental perspective, those aspects of the market that encourage the cultivation and maintenance of competence are socially beneficial. Those forms of buying and selling that undermine the social structures that support competence are harmful (Coakley, 2006, p. 39).

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From a functionalist perspective, sport power and influence within society. To add a more systematic level of understanding requires that we see the need for integrality underlying all forms of ideology. The argument is that sport must be an active force in mediating and constraining exercises of private power. The sport limitations encountered under the negative liberty rubric have been overridden by the complexities of modern industrial cultures. Yet it is also true that the lack of boundaries for institutional power arising from a positive liberty perspective create dangers of repression, bureaucratization, and inefficiency in the allocation of resources (Coakley, 2006, p. 40). Still, functionalist perspective ignores or diminishes the role of society and therefore denigrates the importance of government. The second treats people as puppets and deprives them of character and motivation, while placing faith in democratic governance as a way of regulating social power. The cyclical and repetitive nature of these disputes suggests that there is a flaw in the conceptual foundations of the arguments (Shulman, et al. 2002, p. 76).

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Functionalist perspective underlines that the orientation and life-style outlook of each of the classes differs from members of other strata. Societies engender conformity and shape social character in different ways. Some are tradition directed and others are inner directed, but ours is largely other directed. People pay close attention to the signals received from others -- friends and mass media. Sport has the permanent traits of innovation, change, mobility, and movement. As a result, the tendency to conformity and massification is tempered by dynamism and change (Shulman, et al. 2002, p. 87). Sport analysts should be well aware of the significance of sociological factors; they have been described as socio-graphics. Predictions of them give indications of the dimensions of future markets. Taste pervades every social and income stratum, and affects the type and quality of goods that will be purchased. Consumers express their personalities and their taste through the symbols with which they are associated, such as houses, furniture, furnishings, clothing, and automobiles. Since sport armatures are often other-directed, they are concerned with what other group members think of them and their taste (Coakley, 2006, p. 42).

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In sum, sport is seen as continuation of society as it unites people and promotes social values and social change. Sport is indicative of a need for more information, analysis and advice, as economies and societies become more complex and as decision-making and authoritative action takes place beyond and in addition to political deliberations within nation-states. To measure effectiveness in terms of their ability to influence changes behavior only is too ambitious and narrow a yardstick for success. Here it will be suggested that political groups’ ability to establish channels of dialogue and get their messages across to political representatives and institutions of the host country or homeland, or at an international level, is in itself a measure of the effectiveness of homeland political activities. Choices are manifestations of a developmental impetus arising from internal drives and reflections, on one side, and the possibilities that society presents, on the other. While no analysis cannot account for every variation, we can see the underlying pattern of issues on the individual side. Provision for indoor sport in attractive surroundings remained a priority with the emphasis on the need for very many small sports halls to supplement and complement the district-scale sports centers that now existed. Life style (the distinctive or characteristic mode of living), which is the result of such forces as culture, values, resources, symbols, license, sanction, mobility, leisure, social class, life cycle, status, conformity, mass, and the family, affects social relations.


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