Sociology Semester Project

Morgan Prince

Sociology of Sports

1. Sports teach some of the basic values of society, promotes attachment to society, and helps individuals identify with other members of society.

2. Sports reflect the male dominated society in America, however much progress is being made towards equality in sports.

3. According to conflict theorists, sports are a social institution in which the most powerful exploit, oppress, manipulate, and coerce others.

4. However, many people believe it teaches basic beliefs and values, promotes a sense of social identification, offers a safe release of aggressive feelings, and encourages the development of character.

5. Many people see issues with sports, such as they contribute to upward social mobility among college athletes, but the opportunities are few and divert attention from learning academic and business-related skills necessary for success.

6. Minorities and women are often discriminated against in certain sports.

7. Women face gender based stereotypes, and often have a hard time participating in male dominated sports such as football or hockey.

8. Males face these same issues when participating in sports such as cheerleading, gymnastics, or volleyball.

The Basis of Culture

1. Culture is the knowledge, language, values, customs, and physical objects that are passed from generation to generation among members of a group.

2. Culture is important because it helps explain human social behavior.

3. All the different elements of culture- knowledge, language, values, customs, and physical objects- form a whole culture that defines a society's way of life.

4. Instincts are generally inherited patterns of behavior, such as yawning, blushing, and cold chills.

5. Even though humans are born with instincts, they rely more on culture because they are forced to create their own ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

6. Culture is also influenced by genetics and environmental factors, like when genes determine intelligence.

7. Sociobiologists study this relationship of how biology influences human behavior.

8. However, a major criticism of sociobiology is that the importance placed on genetics could be used as justification to label specific races as superior or inferior.

Gender Roles

1. Gender roles are a perceived set of behavioral norms usually associated with males and females in a given social group or system.

2. Some female gender stereotypes include appearance being valued over intellect, women are helpless and in need of protection, and women are domestic and likely to marry.

3. Some male gender stereotypes include not showing emotions, being naturally strong and heroic, and having non-domestic jobs.

4. For example, in Cinderella, her main goal is to find her prince charming and be rescued from her evil stepmother and stepsisters.

5. In some children's movies girls are portrayed as very thin with wide hips and sometimes wear minimal clothing, such as Jasmine from Aladdin.

6. In Tarzan, he is very muscular and heroic, and he saves Jane many times throughout the movie.

7. In the Lion King, Simba is born with great power and is destined to rule over the land.

8. For both men and women characters, undesirable characters are portrayed as fat, ugly, or scary looking, and often with a menacing or raspy voice.

Founders of Sociology

1. Auguste Comte was a french philosopher that founded the discipline of sociology and the doctrine of positivism.

2. He also published the six volume Positive Philosophy that outlined the principles of sociology.

3. The Communist Manifesto greatly influenced the beginning of sociology and promoted a classless society.

4. Émile Durkheim is credited as being one of the principle founders of modern sociology.

5. Max Weber published The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism which profoundly influenced social theory and research.

6. Jane Addams was a social worker and a leader in women's suffrage and world peace.

7. She also created the first ever Hull House.

8. She was then awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.

Greek and American Culture

1. There is more emphasis placed on marrying within your ethnic group in Greek culture.

2. In American culture, almost any method of schooling is acceptable. However, in Greek culture, it is recommended that children attend Greek school.

3. The wedding ceremonies differ between the two cultures too. For example, in Greek culture the best man shaves the groom to symbolize trust.

4. The way the wedding party dresses is different too. Both have traditionally white dresses; however in Greek culture, the dresses and accessories tend to be very over the top.

5. In American culture, bridesmaids wear the color that matches the theme of the wedding. However, in Greek culture bridesmaids usually wear blue in order to ward off evil.

6. Greek culture also has different beliefs and traditions for the wedding ceremony. American people traditionally throw rice, while Greek people spit on the bride's dress for good luck.

7. In Greek wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom wear two crowns joined together by a ribbon to symbolize their union.

8. In addition to wearing a crown, the bride and groom usually walk in a circle around the altar, taking their "first steps as a couple". This is typically not practiced in American culture.

Making Connections

These topics are similar because they all play a role in contributing to society and culture as a whole. If it weren't for each of these topics individually, the culture of each country is applies to would be different. Sports contribute to the values of a society and allow people to come together and work towards a common goal. The basis of culture greatly contributes to the way a society runs today. For example, some Greek, American, and Mexican traditions in history are still prevalent in society today. Gender roles influence the differences in how men and women are treated in a society, and therefore influence culture by setting different expectations for each gender. The founders of sociology have set the basis for how we study and learn about sociology today. If it weren't for their studies, we wouldn't be able to analyze individual cultures and societies. The comparison between Greek and American culture helps put into perspective how certain cultures can be very different, but still similar in many ways. It helps people appreciate differences and relate them to their own lives.

Real Life Application

Each of these topics are applicable to my life in different ways. In addition to each of them contributing to society and culture as a whole, they also relate to individual lives. Sports are a big part of my life and allow me to communicate with people that have the same interests as me. They also allow me to make friends and socialize with people of the same age. The basis of culture influences my life by the way my family and I celebrate holidays. We get together for things like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, which aren't typically celebrated in other societies. Gender roles influenced my life as a child by deciding my interests in a way. Little girls typically play with dolls, barbies, and play dress up, so that is what I did. The founders of sociology have influenced my life by creating the things that we study in this class. If it weren't for their discoveries in history, we would have nothing to learn about and study in this class. The aspects of Greek and American culture section related the culture that I live in to others that are similar, but still different in some ways.

Gender Roles and Target's Decision

Target's decision to integrate boys and girls toys relates to gender roles. Target is trying to eliminate gender roles and stereotypes by making a section labeled "kids toys" instead of separate sections for boys and girls toys. It is a controversial topic because some people feel they are doing the right thing by doing away with gender based stereotypes, and some people feel that there is no need to confuse kids at a young age just to be politically correct. However people feel, Target is sticking with their decision in making a more gender neutral environment for young kids.

Sociology of Sports and Negative Effects

Along with the positive effects of sports, some people also believe there are negative events that occur. Some say that sports promote oppression and cheating by more powerful athletes. A prime example of this would be the Tom Brady and the New England Patriots when he was suspected of deflating the ball in the Super Bowl. This scandal caused serious controversy in the NFL, and some people are using this as support to their argument of the negative effects of sports.