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This assignment fulfills/supports
Module Outcome: You will be able to describe strategies for transforming the institution of sport 
Course Outcome: You will be able to examine the current patterns of health, income, wealth, and inequality in the United States.
General Education Competency
 You will be able to communicate effectively using the American Standard English in professional and academic environments.
You will be able to use critical thinking to analyze problems and make logical decisions.
You will be able to demonstrate computer literacy.
Prompt:                
It is only in the last two generations that young women have gained the ability to grow up actively engaged in sports. Female athletes are becoming increasingly visible in sports such as basketball, softball, and soccer.
Should women continue to play in their own separate leagues? Or is it time for men and women to compete with (and against) one another? Support your answers with research and not just your personal opinion. Be sure to cite your sources. 

Acceptable Length: 2-3 pages
Formatting Requirements:
Put your name, course and section number, and assignment title at the top of the document.
Use one-inch margins.
Use a 12-point Times New Roman font.
Use double line spacing in the document.
Use MLA_Citation_Style  
Grading Criteria: Your grade will be determined by the questions answered, the length, individual you chose (no relatives), the content, and timely submission.
To Submit: Using Microsoft Word (or another word processing program, save the document with a filename that includes the assignment title, your first initial, and last name. Submit, using the link at the bottom of this module page no later than March 28

Instructor Resource

Coates, The Matrix of Race

SAGE Publishing, 2018

Lecture Notes

Chapter 9: Sports and the American Dream
Learning Objectives
9-1 Explain the state of sport in the United States
9-2 Compare stock theories about sport
9-4 Apply the matrix approach to sport
9-5 Describe strategies for transforming the institution of sport
I.
The State of Sport Today
A.
Sport refers to a range of activities that involved physical extortion and skill
1.
They are organized around a set of rules, and can be played at the individual and team level
B.
The most watched sport in the United States has traditionally been football
1.
Other prominent sports include basketball, baseball, hockey, NASCAR, and golf
C.
Sports constitute a significant portion of the U.S. economy as they generate billions of dollars each year
1.
This encompasses everything from food, to memorabilia, and stadium naming rights
a.
In one year, U.S. consumers spent a total of $498 billion on sports-related purchases (Plunket Research 2015)
II.
Sports Media
A.
If we watch almost any sport media channel, we might conclude that sports in the United States are an equal opportunity employer, but this is incorrect
1.
While women’s participation has increased at all levels of sport, serious coverage of women’s sport in the media has been lacking (Cooky, Messner, and Hextrum 2013)
a.
This imbalance may be explained by the observation that sports reporters, writers, and editors are overwhelmingly white and male (Coocky, Messner, and Hextrum 2013)
2.
This is also true for scholarships and endorsements
a.
While female athletes comprise over half of the college student population, they only get 43% of National Collegiate Athletic Association athletic opportunities
1.
This means that women receive 63,241 fewer athletic positions than their male counterparts (NCAA 2014)
III.
Players and Coaches
A.
Both class and race are reflected in the biographies of successful athletes and coaches
1.
Examining the intersection of race, class, and family background structures demonstrates the unequal pathways into professional sports (Keating 2011)
2.
It is a widespread belief that many athletes rise to fame and fortune out of dismal poverty, but this is not true
a.
Middle class and affluent whites are 75% more likely than poor whites to become NBA players
b.
Blacks from two parent families are 18% more likely than those from broken homes to become NBA athletes
c.
White NBA players are 33% more likely to come from two parent families
B.
Often when we speak of diversity, we are actually making reference to binary constructions of diversity
1.
Binary constructions of diversity only account for two major racial or ethnic groups
a.
A more realistic measure of diversity would be one that accounts for the large number of racial, ethnic, and gendered groups
2.
Most professional sports are segregated by race, ethnicity, and gender
a.
If we were to consider the diversity of professional sports, only one sport can truly be called diverse – and that is Major League Soccer
1.
This is the only sports league in the United States in which at least 50% of its players are not a single race or ethnicity
b.
In the 2015–16 season, coaches across all leagues that identified as people of color represented just 33.3% of the head coaching positions (Lapchick 2016)
c.
The NFL, with the establishment of the Rooney Rule in 2003, mandated that the league develop a diverse pool of manager and general manager candidates
1.
This requires interviewing minority candidates for either head coaching or senior football operations jobs
2.
A total of 22 head coaches were hired between 2012 and 2016, and only one, Todd Bowles, was a minority head coach with the New York Jets
3.
Within the MLB, Bud Selig in 1997 mandated the creation of a similar pool of managerial candidates
a.
Among managerial slots, 32% of central staff are people of color, while women make up 39%
IV.
Examining Stock Sociological Theories of Sport
A.
The link between race and sports predates the actual sociology of sport
1.
Scholarly interest in the field may be linked to the increasingly significant amount of time devoted to sport on television, the development of professional leagues, and the expansion of youth sports in local communities and educational institutions
a.
There are four popular sociological theories about sport
B.
The nature perspective posits that biological differences between genders, racial, cultural, and national groups account for variations in ability, performance, and success
1.
The common stereotypes about race, gender, and sport are supported by the larger social narrative that defines differences as rooted in biology
a.
Biological determinism argues that human behavior, intelligence, or athleticism are determined by their genes or some aspect of their physiology
b.
No evidence, biological or otherwise, demonstrates a link between race, athleticism, and/or intelligence
C.
The nurture perspective views gender, racial, cultural, and national group differences in athleticism as products of socialization and environment
1.
Behaviors are socialized, including teamwork, meritocracy, rule conformance, gender norms, and sportsmanship
a.
For years, gender norms have been reinforced by gender segregation among various sports
b.
The backlash that women face when they enter what is perceived to be male spaces demonstrates how sport socialization tends to mirror the perceptions of sport within the wider community and nation
c.
Major institutions, such as schools, media, teams, and government, use rewards and sanctions to reinforce this socialization (Sage and Eitzen 2015)
d.
Performing within a sport helps members learn how to obey rules as they are rewarded when they accomplish acceptable tasks in acceptable ways, and penalized when they violate these rules
2.
Socialization serves to preserve the dominant gender, racial, and class hierarchy
a.
For example, fishing is typically cast as a male dominated sport
b.
Women are rarely featured in fishing magazines, and when they are, they are frequently sexualized (Carini and Weber 2015)
D.
Critical theorists argue that agency (the capacity of individuals to make choices and to act independently given access, resources, and ability) interacts with sport in a form of process that links identities, nature, and nurture
1.
This process recognizes that there are obvious biological differences among infants
a.
These differences, related to motor skills and early childhood development, can impact people later in life
b.
Family and prenatal care can influence not only cognitive, but also fine motor skills associated with sport
c.
Further, if there is an environment, reflected in either culture or community, which values, encourages, and rewards athleticism, then we would expect these outcomes to be reflected in specific kinds of ways
1.
For example, we tend to encourage gender differences in sport and athleticism
2.
These produce obvious gendered differences associated with specific sport types (Hofstede, Dignum, Prada, Student, and Vanhee, 2015)
E.
Class and space can also impact who has access to sport (Carrington 2013)
1.
Increasingly, demands on public funds have forced school districts across the country to cut funding in their athletic programs
a.
Nearly 1 in 5 lower-income parents were forced to restrict their children participation in sports
b.
Other costs include equipment, uniforms, and team fees
F.
Research also demonstrates that sport participation is linked to both race and gender
1.
Black student-athletes tend to become concentrated and even over-represented in sports like football, basketball, and boxing (Coakley 2004)
G.
Some argue that sport serves as a means by which subordinate males and females can seek status, respect, empowerment, and upward mobility (Scraton and Flintoff 2014)
1.
Being poor and from the inner city does not increase one’s chances of becoming a sport star
a.
Kids growing up in stable, more prosperous environments are more likely to develop the skills of persistence, self-regulation, and trust that are so basic to sport success (Stephens-Davidowitz 2013)
V.
The Functions of Sport
A.
Functionalist believe that society is composed of a system of interrelated institutions that are structured according to which functions
they perform
1.
The functionalist theory of sports argues that sports fulfill a multitude of needs
a.
Shared values – sports help teach and reinforce societal values
b.
Life skills – a set of core values associated with moral development, social relationships, self-perceptions, motivation, and achievement
c.
Socio-emotional function – sports help individuals learn how to deal with conflict and anger management, community bonding, and rituals (Delaney 2015)
d.
Social mobility – sports provide individuals and groups opportunities both directly (through professional sport participation) and indirectly (through college scholarships) (Delaney 2015)
B.
The main critique of the functionalist theory of sport is that it tends to overemphasize the positive consequences of sport, and assumes that all identity groups benefit equally from spot
1.
Proponents fail to grasp that sports are a social construction of society that preserves social hierarchies benefiting privileged individuals and groups, while disadvantaging others
VI.
Identity Through Competition
A.
A symbolic interaction perspective of sports posits that sports are created and maintained by shared meanings and social interaction
1.
Athlete identities are formed as they participate in various sports and sport cultures
2.
Sport events are seen as ritual contests in which individuals seek to obtain heroic or iconic status
3.
Competition provides order and control
VII.
Applying the Matrix to Sports in the United States
A.
The matrix of race, class, and gender operates through the institution of sport
1.
Geographic and social locations and identities across time impact how sport develops
B.
The stock story of U.S. sports has been central to our national narrative
1.
Our concealed stories reveal the historical, political, cultural, and social processes that have shaped the development of sport in the United States
a.
Racial, ethnic, class, and gendered groups frequently used sport as a means of social mobility when other pathways were blocked
1.
Sports can be both a source of resistance and transformative change, as individuals and groups engaged in sport use their status to effect changes both within sport and wider society
VIII.
Early American Sports Narratives
A.
From the earliest point in U.S. history, sports blended cultural and athletic traditions of Native Americans and European immigrants
1.
Each new immigrant group arriving in North American brought along its own sporting traditions
B.
Religious attitudes within the American colonies governed the recreational activities considered proper for men and women
1.
In the north, elite white women were encouraged to ice-skate
a.
Southern women were expected to develop equestrian skills
b.
Other recreational activities for women included dancing, quilting, and swimming
C.
Southern planters modeled themselves after European nobility and a tempted to duplicate their leisure activities
1.
Horse racing became the major source of sport in 19th century Southern America
a.
Fox and quail hunts, and bloody sports such as cock fights were frequent events
1.
All of these sport activities were associated with heavy gambling
2.
Through gambling, southern elites asserted their manliness while distinguishing themselves from poorer whites and black slaves (Caroll 2003)
a.
Sporting venues became the places where politics, economics, and culture were controlled
D.
Race, Gender, and Early American Sports
1.
Slaves, both male and female, were often the featured attraction providing entertainment and profit to the southern plantation elite (Gems, Borish, and Pfister 2008)
a.
While boxing and other sports provided slaves entertainment, for some it provided a more direct route to emancipation (Harris 2000)
2.
Black women found that sport could be a means of rebellion
a.
Slave women excelled at swimming, which they often did in the nude, which tended to go against religious and racial prohibitions regarding white women and nudity (Gems, Borish, and Pfister 2008:24)
3.
For northern white females, the bicycle became an instrument of rebellion
a.
After the civil war, schools offered athletic options that included bicycle races
4.
Latinos have also had an influential impact upon sports within the United States
a.
From 1519 to 1700, the Spanish important and established cattle and horse ranches throughout the south and southwest
b.
Cowboys developed a range of skills
c.
Hispanic cowboys working the ranches developed rodeos to celebrate the annual cattle roundups and their skills in horsemanship
d.
Wild West shows toured the country through much of the 1890s (Alamillo 2013)
VIIII.
Institutionalizing Sport: Industrialization, Immigration, and Team Sports
A.
Theorists employing a matrix or intersectional approach have characterized sports as a mirror of capitalist society
1.
A matrix analysis of sports demonstrates that sporting events are more than media representations or cultural products
a.
They become a major institutional space where race, class, and gender manifestations are manifested
B.
Industrialism encouraged increased immigration from Europe and spurred the club movement
1.
In the club movement, elite white ethnics formed exclusive clubs in urban industrial areas to promote group identity and enhance status
a.
The sports club movement was a means by which lower status white ethnics could gain elite status
b.
Sports clubs often emphasized aristocratic British cultural connections and lineage; thus they began introducing golf in the 1890s (Strain 2006)
1.
Golf courses emulated aristocratic gardens and manor houses (Ceron-Anaya 2010)
C.
The first baseball club originated in 1845 in Manhattan, when a group of young firefighters formed the Knickerbocker Baseball Club
1.
Blue-collar workers were the mainstay viewers of the game until the increased cost of admission transformed the audience to middle class workers by the 1860s
2.
The national leagues that developed continued to draw their players primarily from new immigrants and their audience from the white middle class until the late 1940s
a.
This changed with the advent of World War II
1.
For the first time, fans saw both blacks and women on the field
3.
When the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed in 1867, it formally banned all black athletes
a.
The first black professional team was formed in 1885, and was called the Cuban giants
IX.
Identities and Resistance
A.
Critical race theorists stress that confronting race and racism is central to any analysis of sports
1.
This perspective argues that sports are a central social process that regularly legitimates, modifies, and recreates racial hegemony
a.
Critical race theory also aims to combat racial hegemony within sports, while at the same time recognizing that race is a social construction (Hylton 2010)
B.
The Civil Rights Movement had significant impact upon United States
1.
Through legislation, court actions, and organized efforts, the movement abolished many of the formal mechanisms of racial discrimination in the United States
a.
Almost every institutional sphere was affected, including sports
C.
In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed the landmark U.S. education Amendments legislation, including Title IX, which declared that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to, discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”
1.
Before Title IX, in 1971 fewer than 295 females participated in high school varsity athletes
a.
This was just under 7% of all athletes
b.
By 2001, a total of 2.8 million or 41.5% of all varsity athletes were females
c.
By 2012, the number of females in high school and college sports had grown to 3,373,300 (New York Times Sunday Review 2012; Titleix.info)
1.
Title IX did not solve gender inequities in sports, however
2.
The impact of Title IX has not been universal across all women
a.
While white females had a 51% participation rate in high school sport, black females were lower at 40%
b.
Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanic female high school participation was lower at 34% and 32% respectively
3.
The differential access to sports by race and gender at the high school level carry forward to the intercollegiate level
a.
For example, in Division I basketball (where black women represent 50.6% of the athletes), they are significantly less likely to be on indoor and outdoor track and field (28.2% and 27.5% respectively)
4.
Title IX has a negative impact upon the percentage of women in coaching women’s teams at the intercollegiate level
a.
In 1972, 90% of coaching positions for women’s teams were females
b.
Currently, only 44% of women’s team’s coaches are women (Rhoden 2012)
5.
One of the most obvious boundaries maintained by sports is gender and gender identity
a.
Not only does this boundary distinguish the types of athleticism appropriate for males and females, it also defines both masculinity and femininity
b.
While today women can be found surfing, skateboarding, drag car racing, and skiing, many sports are still male oriented, such as hockey, football, boxing, and wrestling
c.
Sports reflect our cultural biases, but structural barriers also impede gender equity
d.
Women hold few positions of real power in the sports journalism industry (Nelson 2013)
e.
Gender subjectivity and stereotyping in visual portrayals of female athletes increase the likelihood that they will be portrayed negatively (Brandt and Carstens 2011)
X.
Creating a New Playing Field
A.
The Role of Agency and Resistance
1.
Much of our understanding of agency and resistance within sports is derived from personal narratives of athletes and coaches
a.
Their stories have generated our knowledge of homophobia and sexism, racism, and ethnocentrisms
b.
These narratives help us understand how we can bring about more tolerance within our communities, institutions, and ultimately society
1.
They demonstrate how individuals have been able to transform not only how they perceive themselves, but also how their identities are perceived and received within the wider community
2.
David Denson, first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers’ rookie affiliate in Helena, Montana, announced in August of 2015 that he is gay
a.
He became the first active player affiliated with a Major league organization to come out publicly (Hine 2016)
b.
In the 2016 Olympics, a record 56 LGBT identifying athletes competed in the Rio Olympics
1.
These athletes represent a long list of athletes and their use of sport, star status as advocacy and resistance
B.
Closing the Athlete Graduation Gap
1.
In 2016, about half of the black male athletes in the top 65 basketball and football institutions graduated within 6 years
a.
While black males only accounted for 2.5% of undergraduates, they made up 56% of the football players and more than 60% of the men’s basketball players (Harper 2016)
1.
While black male graduation rates appear to be declining, those of both white and Hispanics male graduation rates are on the rise
2.
Academic underperformance is pronounced among basketball, football, and hockey among men in general, and black men in particular (Shulman and Bowen 2001)
3.
In many states, private schools have advantages in recruiting top players (such as greater media exposure, better facilities, and scholarships)
a.
Scholarships are not an equal opportunity benefit for all
1.
Just 7% of high school athletes that played varsity sport got scholarships to go to college in 2015–16 (Ecker 2016)
C.
Instead of waiting for change to happen, college athletes around the country have begun to organize themselves into unions
1.
The National College Players Association has testified in the U.S. Congressional Hearings and briefings, appeared before state legislatures, and represented college athletes within the courts seeking improved athlete benefits, including a Student-Athletes Bill of rights
D.
Sports, as a collection of social institutions, reflect the values, customs, and histories of society
1.
As institutions, they also reflect the hierarchical relations between and among racial, gendered, and class groups within society
2.
Further improvements can only come as we reaffirm commitments to all students and remove lingering racial, gender, and class inequities

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