Functionalist Issues in Sport

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Using the Functionalist perspective discuss how sport can be used as an avenue for socialisation and social mobility Introduction Sports! There are very small areas in society that can generate such passion and interest and elevate its participants to almost divine status and raise them from humble beginnings to lords and ladies of the manner. For this reason sports can be used as a powerful medium for socialisation; although not exclusively as other social interactions can have the same results. Sports importance in Britain with regards to its ability to give common ground and transcend age, culture and class and establish the traditional values that we all share as being British give prominence over other social constructions. Since participation in sport is predominately social and requires the interaction in small and large communities, factors that are inherently important to British culture can be instilled. These factors or character traits such as honour, equality, fair play, respect for self and others, teamwork, Loyalty, patience, need for physical fitness, perseverance, responsibility, and self-control etc when socialised will result in a well balanced society.

It is relevant however, who is doing the socialisation and what they are teaching (Coakley pp39). Therefore, sport alone does not instigate positive character traits or affect in the behaviour and attitudes of its participants. It can however be used as a powerful catalyst through programs developed by the societies, organisations, institutions and the significant others of the participants themselves (Coakley, pp93). Through Sport, society and culture can change preconceptions of traditional patriarchal bias, which favours those with able bodies and minds. This can effect change in social mobility ?the effect of moving from one class stratification to another?, enabling self-betterment, a state of classlessness and the equality of gender, race and ability as regards to access to sports,