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Different Cultures From A Sociological Perspective

Cancel Submit. Thus, an applied sport psychology ethos that centralizes the role of the social and political development of student-athletes and consultants is, in a sense, a counterhegemonic practice designed to help each not simply perform better by blindly obeying the rules in their sport and in consulting , but to ask critical questions related to college sport and larger social issues.


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  • While individuals may be capable of becoming functioning citizens without these skills, we argue that an understanding of power and the ability to confidently critique power relations within college sport society is crucial to social agency and citizenship. This is especially necessary at this moment — as previously mentioned - since applied sport psychology is at the point where it has been accepted into the intercollegiate infrastructure at major Division-I institutions to the extent that Athletic Directors have become more open to sport psychology service provision and in a small number of cases have agreed to fund mental training facilities and graduate students who assist in working with athletes.

    This means that such suggestions for a politicization of sport psychology may be condemnatory of the very system that some consultants rely on for support. However, as Donnelley points out, there is room for negotiation and resistance in any power relationship even though there may be obstacles that discourage consultants and athletes themselves from doing so. One fruitful research project would be to conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews with consultants related to where consultants get their news on politics and social issues, whether and to what degree they are concerned with these issues, their experience with voting, and their awareness of power issues related to sport.


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    • Perhaps one of the main sources and spheres of political dialogue amongst consultants and athletes is the practice arena, and given our above assertion that it is mostly a conservative sphere, this may not encourage the kind of critical democratic reflection we are espousing. In addition, if consultants are being paid by conservative athletic departments, perhaps they purposefully remove themselves from the political process and these types of social issues.

      If given a chance, however, we believe that student-athletes as well as consultants could readily identify examples of political issues within the context of their sport experiences i. Of interest would be whether athletes and consultants saw themselves as political and social agents either on or off the field and how those two spheres are related.

      In addition, because an important part of citizenship is a willingness to contribute to the creation and maintenance of community, it would be important to ask consultants if they feel any obligations to community, whether it be campus, local metropolitan , national, or global. It would not be surprising — due to reasons related to both time and other university obligations — if consultants felt that their primary obligation was to their university commitments first and to larger sociopolitical issues only if they had time left over.

      Thus, perhaps consultants working in a university setting may not be apathetic or unconcerned with politics and the workings of democracy, but rather are so overwhelmed with their academic and athletic lives that political engagement becomes almost an afterthought. In a recent graduate-level sociology of sport course taught by the third author, the students were asked to read a series of introductory articles devoted to sport, power and ideology Beal, ; Foley, and to subsequently write a critique of the readings.

      The second week of class began with the students being asked to share what they had written and to address any questions they had pertaining to the articles. As discussed in our previous paper, a critical component to cultural studies is the notion of praxis or the integration of theory, research, and practice Hall, Again, it is important to recognize that answering this question can be problematic for those situated within hierarchical institutions and those who confront reward structures that privilege individual distinction academia, athletics over collective social change.

      In our previous paper, we speculated on the ways in which sport psychology educators, researchers, and practitioners can utilize a cultural studies framework to enhance their research and applied work. While we noted the existence of groups designed to promote greater interaction between athletes and their communities, little research or discussion has addressed such programs and their connections to the field of sport and exercise psychology. Lastly, we discuss the potential impact of such groups on the field of sport and exercise psychology and on their participants.

      More specifically, the Center is founded on the belief that through our sport communities and those involved in sport, positive social chance can occur. The Center is dedicated to six programs that encourage and foster such values as inclusion, diversity, civic engagement, violence prevention and sportsmanship among others. Many of the programs are targeted at youth, collegiate student-athletes and non-athletes through the use of interactive training sessions.

      The mission of each program, while unique, is to raise awareness about inequality, discrimination, violence, and teach practical skills aimed at empowering individuals with options to effect change in their respective communities. For example, Athletes in Service to America AIS uses student-athletes to help promote physical activity and sport involvement within urban youth communities.

      Educating for Justice EFJ is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about issues of injustice and implementing programming i.

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      Sociological Perspective Essay

      EFJ developed in as part of a campaign to increase awareness of the labor abuse practices of Olympic apparel sponsors Nike, Adidas for the Olympic Games. Keedy resigned. For one month, Keedy and Kretzu documented through film and journaling the lives of those factory workers. Their documentation brought national and global attention to the abusive practices within Indonesian sweatshops, in particular those sweatshops responsible for the manufacturing of Nike and Adidas apparel and equipment.

      Since their initial month of study, Keedy and Kretzu have continued to travel to Indonesia, and with the help of factory workers, have educated people about the injustices faced within these sweatshops. Today, Keedy and Kretzu provide educational events for high school and college students as well as student-athletes targeted at increasing awareness of global injustices. In , SWEAT: A story of solidarity with Indonesian sweatshop workers , is scheduled to be released and will give further voice to Indonesian factory workers. Two recent programs which have received national attention include GoGirlGo!

      The goal of GoGirlGo!

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      In addition, the program hosts a variety of GoGirlGo! Days in which groups of girls are educated about the benefits of physical activity and introduced to various forms of movement. The program also supplies free curriculum to teachers and coaches, providing them with the necessary resources to educate girls on the importance of physical activity.

      The Scientific view of sport; perspectives, aspects, issues

      It is a curriculum that is available to athletes, coaches, teachers, and administrators. The educational program which includes a video, safe zone stickers, poster and detailed curriculum provides the necessary tools to educate sport participants, parents, coaches and administrators as well as other professionals working in the sport context about the ramifications of homophobia, ways in which to promote fair policy guidelines for teams, and to recognize openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes educational materials are available at www.

      In fact, we believe it is only through such efforts — and perhaps consultants are in the prime spot to take on such a challenge because most are not paid by their athletic departments - that social change will occur in the conservative sphere of collegiate sport. Sport psychology researchers, teachers, and consultants have the potential to regulate and prevent discrimination and abuses of power from happening to athletes and even to fight on their behalf.

      The fact that even standard texts used by most of the professionals in the field fail to address issues of discrimination and power indicates that anything resembling an activist sport psychology is some ways off. However, as we have outlined, there are ways that individuals concerned with nudging the field forward towards the new cultural studies-infused paradigm can engage.

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      Whether it be through incorporating literature related to issues such as sexual harassment, homophobia, racism, and masculinity into course texts or readers, by becoming more aware and critical of the power dynamics of college sport, or by forming coalitions with social justice groups within and outside of sport, there are, as we have stated, degrees of freedom within the space of sport psychology for practitioners to begin. Disqualifying the official: An exploration of social resistance through the subculture of skateboarding.

      Sociology of Sport Journal, 12, Belenky, M. Women's ways of knowing.

      Reading: Theoretical Perspectives on Religion

      New York: Basic. Berger, B. Foundations of exercise psychology. Brooks, D. Racism in college athletics: The African-American athlete's experience. Advances in sport and exercise psychology measurement.