Your first journal assignment covers the following readings:
Ken Roberts (Social Theory, Sport, Leisure) - Chapter 1(Durkheim)
Carey - Ritual View of Communication
Birrell - Sports as Ritual
Boyle - The Bizarre History of American Sport
You are expected to give a brief summary of each reading, addressing each author’s key ideas and concepts. Can you make sense of the four readings as a group? What do they say collectively?
Successful journals will be approximately 4-5 double spaced pages in length. They will correctly identify the key ideas in each reading, and finally synthesize the readings into one coherent statement. The use of outside examples to clarify and illustrate your final argument about the readings is very helpful.
Sports as ritual: interpretations from Durkheim to Goffman-Summary
The thesis in the article indicated that sport is an essential phenomenon in the society due to its ritualistic overtones. The importance of sports as ritual has its basis on athlete’s status as exemplary role incumbent with power acting as in-between individuals compromising audiences and the moral order in the society. The article draws theoretical evidence and support from Goffman’s theory of interaction ritual and Durkheim and social theory of religion (Birrell 334). The media plays an important role in singling out and applauding heroic actions thus promote and support athletic ideas. The sports have significant and famous figures in the society as they represent essential values in the society. The sportsmen and women help the society uphold poise, integrity, gameness and courage.
Sport is significant socializing agent and an agent of social control, agent of assimilation and according to sociologists. According to psychologists, the sport has ritualistic overtones. Sports are associated with traditional festivals and religious ceremonies. Understanding sports as ritual will help people conceptualize and understand the meaning of sport in the society. The article examines relative macroscopic ritual forms sports, function and its institutionalization. Today organized sport exhibits functions and characteristics that include fusion of index and symbol, formality and performance (Birrell 334). The sports fuse the association between secular and sacred order. The article examined sports and ways it is similar to the different ritual. The similarities between ritual and sports are clear due to similar performances and characteristics.
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