Society and Competition in Sports

A report examining the link with a focus on competition in sport and what effect overemphasizing competition in sport can have on society.

The following paper begins by describing the link between sport and society. It then moves on to discuss competition as essential to sport. This is followed by a discussion of the link between society and competition. Perspectives on overemphasizing sport will then be given as well as a discussion on the value of sport to society. Finally, the paper concludes by summarizing the problems that result when competition in sport is overemphasized.
“Sport can be identified as an important part of society, often reflecting the values of society. Christopher Bates Doob in Sociology: An Introduction notes how sports stars are idolized, being seen as the ultimate models of success, with Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley being given as examples, with it being noted that these sports stars are famous, wealthy and widely marketed. The impact of sports on people is largely related to identity and to the process of people identifying with sports people. In the Olympics, country competes against country, with spectators of a country cheering for their own and reacting as if they have won when the athlete wins. The reality is that the spectator has no relationship with the athlete except that they share a common culture. Logically, this seems absurd that the spectator would register a win because the athlete wins. This shows the way that people associate with the sports person and the way their actions impact directly on the spectator. It also shows just how much sport means to an individual. The same can be applied to town against town sports, or university against university sports. In all cases, the spectator identifies with a certain side and this gives the sport meaning to them.”