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Sociology of sports - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Sociology of Sport Discuss how some of the points made in the movie Tough Guy might apply to contemporary sport in North America. Jackson Katz, director of the movie Tough Guise stated that masculinity was a problem of public health…
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Sociology of sports

Download file to see previous pages... Three main themes are prevalent in the movie: society makes men feel that they have to be dominant, men strive to give the appearance of being tough, and the world influences the violence that is so prevalent in the media. Since toughness has become necessary in the life of men, men in contemporary sport have been led to seek out respect by showing ultimate physical strength (Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity). For example, football players will celebrate a teammate taking out an opponent through sheer strength, while ice hockey players will indulge, in fights, to satisfy their fans and to show off their masculinity. Most athletes and sports-persons will also strive to be huge with bulging muscles in order to intimidate their opponents through their masculinity. Katz also claims that in the environment that surrounds us today makes men believe that they have to show a knack for violence, as well as the fact that any show of pain is considered as a weakness (Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity). In professional wrestling, young men are taught that violence is the best way to show their masculinity. For example, men will slam each other to the canvas floor, and batter their opponents to submission. In rugby, the toughest and most rugged tackles are met with the greatest roar from the crowd, as well as congratulations from teammates. All these actions in contemporary sport show that violence, however, cultured it is, acts as a show of masculinity and, as such, superiority and dominance over one’s rivals. Katz also contends that the sports culture is fundamental in teaching young boys and men how to become men. Because of sports pervasiveness in today’s society, young girls and boys are able to learn a lot about teamwork from a tender age (Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity). While there are various positive lessons from this, the violence and aggressiveness that has pervaded sport teaches them from a very young age that to be a successful sports-person, one has to show these traits. Baseball and hockey fights are two excellent examples of this point of view. Any person joining sport expects that this is the norm as a player. However, there is another conclusion that can be made from the film with regards to contemporary sport in North America. What is being taught to young sports men is not only that aggression and violence are important as a sportsman, but that in order to be a real man; one should be controlling and intimidating on the pitch or court (Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity). This is visible in Basketball, for instance, when a player commits an “in-your-face” slam-dunk over an opposing player before proceeding to rub it in his face. Sport in America, just as Katz contends in his film, has various lessons to teach about contemporary manhood; one can gain respect through disrespecting an opponent or rival. In professional wrestling, it is hard to argue with Katz’s assertion that violence and aggression are celebrated as a projection of masculine power. Examples and implications of using sport for nationalism and nation-building With the end of colonialism and the withdrawal of colonial enemy forces, new states established in the 20th century were faced with the problem of bringing their people behind common goals other than the colonialists (Keim 51). This was especially important because ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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