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Sociology of North American Sport

Eleventh Edition

George H. Sage, D. Stanley Eitzen, and Becky Beal

Publication Date - July 2018

ISBN: 9780190854102

480 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $119.99

An accessible and concise yet comprehensive text that takes a critical look at sports and society


Now in its eleventh edition, Sociology of North American Sport offers a compact yet comprehensive and integrated perspective on sport in North American society. Bringing a unique viewpoint to the subject, George H. Sage, D. Stanley Eitzen, and Becky Beal analyze and, in turn, demythologize sport. This method promotes an understanding of how a sociological perspective differs from commonsense perceptions about sport and society, helping students to understand sport in a new way.

New to this Edition

  • A revised and expanded explanation of sociological theories and their relevance to sport
  • Updated content, statistics, and references
  • New tables and figures
  • An expanded focus on diversity
  • New and updated "Thinking About Sport" boxes

About the Author(s)

George H. Sage is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Kinesiology at the University of Northern Colorado.

D. Stanley Eitzen was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Colorado State University.

Becky Beal is Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, East Bay.


"I love this textbook! It is the best undergraduate text available. The approach is perfect, and the coverage is excellent and comprehensive. Sociology of North American Sport is easy and fun to read, with lots of real-world examples."--Michelle Bartlett, West Texas A&M University

"The authors have done an excellent job addressing today's issues surrounding sport sociology. They provide wonderful examples that are very helpful to students."--Eric Forsyth, Bemidji State University

"Sociology of North American Sport is the BEST sociology of sport text on the market. It is comprehensive, well-researched, accurate, and clearly written. It covers all major topics in the field."--Lorene H. Stone, Missouri State University

Table of Contents



    Chapter 1: The Sociological Analysis of Sport in North American Society

    An Overview of Sociology of Sport as a Field of Study
    The Pervasiveness of Sport
    The Discipline of Sociology
    --Assumptions of the Sociological Perspective
    --Thinking as a Sociologist: Sociological Imagination
    --Units of Sociological Analysis
    --Micro and Macro Levels and This Book

    Sociological Theories: Contrasting Ways to See and Understand Social Life
    --Conflict Theory
    --Conflict/Cultural Social Theories

    --Interactionist Theory
    --Sociological Theories and Sociology of Sport: Our Position

    Sport as a Microcosm of Society
    --Common Characteristics of Sport and Society
    Levels of Sport
    --Informal Sport
    --Organized Sport
    --Corporate Sport


    Chapter 2: Social and Cultural Transformations and the Rise of Sport in North America
    Pre-Columbian and Colonial Traditions in North America
    --The Colonists Restrict Physical Activities
    Early Nineteenth Century: Takeoff of Industrialization, Technology, and Organized Sport
    --Building a Framework for Organized Sport
    --The Technological Revolution and Sport

    Latter Nineteenth Century: The Beginnings of Modern Sport
    --Urbanization and the Rise of Modern Sport Forms
    --Technological Innovation and Sport: Transformation
    --Technological Innovation and Sport: Communication
    --Technological Innovation and Equipment to Play Modern
    --Other Technological Breakthroughs and Sport
    --The Cult of Manliness and Sport
    --Muscular Christianity and Intellectuals
    --Social Philosophy and Organized Sport

    Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: The Modern World and Sport
    --The Maturing of Modern Sport
    --Twentieth-Century Technology and Sport: Transportation
    --The Technological Revolution and Sport: Communication
    --Other Technological Innovations and Sport
    --Sport in Education


    Chapter 3: Sport and North American Culture and Values
    Culture, Values, and Social Theories
    Sport as a Microcosm of Cultural Values
    The North American Value System
    --Individual Striving for Success
    --Competition: The Fundamental Social Process
    --The Social
    Valued Means to Achieve
    --Progress Overcomes the Status Quo
    --Materialism: Acquisitions and Consumption
    --Social Conformity

    North American Social Values and Sport
    --Competition and Success in Sport
    The Valued Means of Achievement in Sport
    --Progress in Sport
    --Materialism in Sport
    --External Conformity in Sport


    Chapter 4: Social Problems and North American Sport: Violence and Substance Abuse
    Overview of Social Problems in Sport
    --Social Theories and Social Problems
    --Examples of Recent Social Problems in Sport

    Violence in North American Society
    --Violence in Historical Context
    --Contemporary Violence in North America

    Violence in Sport: Terminology, Theories
    --Is It Violence or Aggression? Confusion in the Literature
    --Theories About the Connection Between Aggressive Behavior and Sport
    --Aggression Theories and Research on Sports

    Violence in North American Sport
    --Violence as Part of North American Sports
    --Fostering and Supporting Player Violence
    --Violent Behavior of Athletes in Their Personal Lives
    --Sources for Violence by Male Athletes in Their Private Lives
    --Athletes' Violence Against Teammates: Hazing

    Sports Fans: Violent and Abusive Actions
    --Factors Associated with Fan Violence
    --Game and Postgame Violence
    --Reducing Fan Violence and Abusive Behavior

    Substance Abuse and Sport
    --Substance Abuse Not New to Sports
    --The Scope of Current Substance Abuse in Sport
    --Anabolic Steroids: Promises Big and
    --Sports Anti-Doping Programs in North America
    --Social/Cultural Influences and Substance Abuse among Athletes
    --Can Substance Abuse in Sports Be Reduced, Even Prevented?



    Chapter 5: Sport, Social Stratification, and Social Mobility

    Terminology and Theory in Social Stratification and Mobility
    --Basic Terminology in Social Stratification
    Dimensions of Inequality
    Social Class and Sport
    --Adult Participation Preferences for Sports by Socioeconomic Status
    --Youth Sport Participation by Socioeconomic Status
    --Spectator Preferences for Sports by Socioeconomic Status
    --Segregation in Sports by Social Class

    Social Mobility and Sport
    --Sport as a Mobility Escalator
    --Demythologizing the Social Mobility-Through-Sport Hypothesis


    Chapter 6: Racial-Ethnic Minorities and Sport
    Racial-Ethnic Minorities: Social Theories and Relevant Concepts
    --Social Theories and Race and Minorities
    --Relevant Concepts About Race

    Sport Participation among Racial-Ethnic Minorities
    --The History of African American Involvement in U.S. Sport
    --Latino Involvement in North American Sport
    --Asian American Involvement in North American Sport
    --Native North American Involvement in Sport
    --The Effects of Globalization on Ethnic Diversity in North American Sport

    African American Dominance in Sport
    --Race-Linked Physical Appearances
    --Race-Linked Cultural Differences
    Structure Constraints
    Racial Discrimination in Sport
    --Leadership, Administration, and Authority


    Chapter 7: Gender in North American Sport: Community and Change
    Social Theories and Gender Relations
    Constructing and Reproducing Gender Relations through Sport
    --The Heritage of Gender Inequality in Sport
    Social Sources of Gender Inequality in Sport
    --Parental Childrearing Practices and Gender Construction
    --The School and Gender Construction
    --The Mass Media and Gender Construction
    --Nicknames, Mascots, and Heroines

    Females Surmount Social Barriers to Participation in Sport
    --Negative Myths
    Women's Struggle for Opportunity and Equality in Sport
    --From Boys-Only Youth Sports to Opportunities for Both Sexes
    --Title IX: Federal Government Support for Gender Equity
    --Toward Gender Equity in High School Sports
    --Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Sports

    Men Rule in the Coaching and Administration of Women's Sports
    --High School and College Women's Coaching Positions
    --High School and College Administrative/Management Positions

    Ownership, Management, and Coaching in Professional and Olympic Sports
    --Coaching and Administrative Management in U.S. and Canadian Olympic Organizations
    --Reasons for the Persistence of Men in Coaching and Administering Women's Sports
    --Women Athletes' Careers at the Professional and Olympic Levels of Sport
    --Female Olympic Athletes

    Sport, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation


    Chapter 8: Youth and Sport
    Youth Sports Programs: Something for Everyone
    --Social Theories and Youth Sports
    The Rise of Youth Sports Programs: The Takeoff and Expansion of a New Form of Sport
    Objectives of Youth Sports Programs
    --What Do Young Athletes, Their Parents, and Coaches Want from Sports?
    Socialization and Sport: Involvement in Sport and Its Consequences
    Socialization into Sport: Why Do Children Become Involved in Organized Sports?
    --Mass Media
    --Participants: Youth Athletes

    Socialization via Sport: Process and Outcomes
    --Two Forms of Play: Peer Group and Adult Organized
    Development of Personal-Social Attributes through Sport
    --Youth Orientation toward Sport
    --Sportsmanship in Youth Sports
    --Character Development in Youth Sports

    Potential Psychosocial Problems in Youth Sports
    --Adult Intrusion in Youth Sports
    --Disruption of Education
    --Risk of Injury
    --The "Winning Is the Only Thing" Ethic and Youth Sports

    Sports Alternatives for the Young Athlete
    --Emphasizing Personal Growth and Self-Actualization
    --Alternative Sports
    --Cooperative Games
    --Youth Sports Coaches
    --Bill of Rights for Young Athletes


    Chapter 9: Interscholastic Sport
    Social Theories and Interscholastic Sports
    The Status of Sport in Secondary Schools
    The Consequences of Sport for Schools, Communities, and Individuals
    --The Consequences of Sport for the High School
    --The Consequences of Sport for the Community
    --The Consequences of Sport for Participants

    Problems, Dilemmas, and Controversies
    --The Subversion of Educational Goals
    --The Reinforcement of Gender Roles
    --Unsportsmanlike Behavior of Fans
    --Autocratic Coaches
    --Excessive Pressures to Win
    --Sport Specialization
    --Budget Shortfalls
    --Corporate High School Sport Programs

    Efforts to Reform High School Sports

    Chapter 10: Intercollegiate Sport
    Beginning and Development of College Sports
    Student-Centered College Sport Remains
    College Sport as Big Business
    Social Theories and Their Role in Colleges and Universities
    --Functionalism and Big-Time College Sports
    --Conflict/Culturalism and Big-Time Sport Functions
    --Further Consequences of the Commercial Orientation of Big-Time College Sports
    --A Contradiction: Athletes as Amateurs in a Big-Business Environment

    The NCAA and Student-Athletes
    --The Enforcement of "Amateurism"
    --Intercollegiate Sport and Disability
    --Appeals for Paying Athletes a Salary

    --The Restriction of Athletes' Rights
    Educational Performance and Student-Athletes
    --Academic Predictions for Student-Athletes at College
    --Academic Achievement and College Athletes
    --Graduation Rates and Student-Athletes
    --The Impediments to Scholarly Achievement by College
    Reform Initiative and Intercollegiate Sports
    --The Administration of Intercollegiate Sports
    --Emphasizing the Education of Student-Athletes
    --Commitment to Athletes' Rights



    Chapter 11: Sport and the Economy

    Professional Sport as a Business
    --Social Theories and the Economy
    --Professional Team Sports as Monopolies
    --Public Subsidization of Professional Team Franchises
    --Ownership for Profit
    --A Radical Question: Are Owners Necessary?

    Who Benefits Economically from Sports?
    --Professional Athletes' Earnings
    --Auxiliary Professions and Occupations in Sport
    --Sport-Related Businesses
    --Corporate Advertising in Sport

    The Relationship between Owners and Athletes
    --The Draft and the Reverse Clause
    --Professional Team Sport Athletes Fight for Free Agency

    Amateur Sport as a Business
    --The Ambiguous Case: Intercollegiate Sports and Amateurism
    --The Economics of Collegiate Sport

    Gambling and Sport
    --Issues About Sports Betting in the United States
    --Issues About Sports Betting in Canada
    --Sports Gambling and College Students


    Chapter 12: Sport and the Mass Media
    Social Roles of the Mass Media
    --Prominent and Subtle Roles of the Media
    --Mass Media and Social Theories

    The Symbiosis of Mass Media and Sport
    --Enduring Linkages between the Mass Media and Sport
    Television: The Monster of the Sports World
    --Increasing TV Sports Coverage
    --Economic Aspects of Televised Sports

    Television's Influence on Sport
    --Increasing TV Sports Coverage
    --Economic Aspects of Televised Sports

    Television's Influence on Sport
    --Increases in Sport Revenue
    --Television Drives Shifts in Popularity of Sport
    --Professional Sports Franchise Locations and the Media
    --Television: The Financial Foundation for Big-Time Intercollegiate Sport
    --Television Taps High School Sports
    --Modifying Sports to Accommodate TV
    --Television's Own Sports
    --Televised Sport as a Mediated Event

    The Impact of Sport on the Mass Media
    --Increased Sport in the Media
    --Sport's Privileged Treatment by the Media
    --Sports Consumers and the Mass Media

    The Internet: The Newest Form of Mass Communications for Sports
    --Integration of the Internet, Television, Computers, and Video Games
    --Social Media: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter

    Media Sport: Gender and Race Issues
    --Reproduction of Hegemonic Masculinity in Media Sport
    --Media Sport and Gender Inequities
    --Media Sport and Racial and Ethnic Inequities
    --Media Sport and Disabilities Inequities

    Sports Journalism and the Mass Media
    --Sportscasters: Narrators of Mediated Sport
    --Minority Sport Journalists and Broadcasters
    --Women Sport Journalists and Broadcasters


    Chapter 13: Sport and Politics
    Politics as a Social Institution
    --Social Theories and Politics
    Intertwining of Politics and Sports
    The Political Uses of Sport
    --Sport as a Vehicle for Propaganda
    --Sport and Nationalism
    --Sport as an Opiate of the Masses
    --The Exploitation of Sport by Politicians
    --Sport as a Vehicle of Change in Society

    Globalization and Sport
    The Political Olympic Games
    --Political Problems and the Olympic Movement
    --Proposals for Reforming the Olympic Games


    Chapter 14: Sport and Religion
    The Relationship Between Religion and Society
    --Personal and Social Roles of Religion
    Historical Affiliation between Religion and Sport
    --Ancient Greece: Creators of Organized Sports Events
    --The Early Christian Church and Roman Sport Spectacles
    --Pre-Columbian Societies: Sport in the Americas
    --Reformation and Protestantism in the North American
    --Religious Objections to Sport Declined in the Nineteenth Century
    --Religion and Sport Conciliation

    Sport as Religion
    --Similarities between Sport and Religion
    --Critical Views about Sport as Religion

    Religion Uses Sport
    --Religious Leaders Embrace Sport
    --Church Colleges and Universities

    Religious Organizations and Sports
    --The Fellowship of Christian Athletes
    --Religion and Professional Sports Organizations
    --Sport and Religion Publications
    --Missionary Work of Churches and Sport
    --Religious Evangelizing by Athletes and Coaches
    --The Promise Keepers: Patriarchy, Gender, and Sexuality
    --Sportianity Confronting Social Issues

    Value Orientations of Religion and Sports
    --The Protestant Ethic and Sports
    --Protestantism and Contemporary Sport

    Sport Uses Religion
    --The Use of Prayer and Divine Intervention
    --The Use of Magic
    --Magic and Its Uses in Sports



    Chapter 15: Contemporary Trends and the Future of Sport in North America

    Demographic Trends in North America
    --Population Composition
    --Location of Population
    --Population Trends and Sport

    Dominating Forces in Our Lives: Work, Technology, and Sporting Activities
    --An Information/Service North American Society
    --The Information/Service Workplace and Sporting Activities

    A Future Society and Sport
    --Cerebral Sports of the Future
    --Violent Sports of the
    --Technology and Future Sport
    --A Counterpoint to Technosports: Ecosports

    Trends in the Economy and Future Sports
    --Rise of Neo-Liberalism and Sport for Development and Peace
    --The Future of Professional Sports
    --The Future of Televised Sports
    --Internet Technology and Sports Viewing
    --Video Technology and Sports Video Games
    --Intercollegiate Athletics and the Future
    --Secondary School Sports and the Future

    Trends in Social Values and Future Sport
    --The Quest for Democracy and Equality
    --Trends in Sports Values
    --People with Disabilities and Sport
    --Senior Populations and Sport
    --LGBTQ in Sport
    --New Emphasis on Participation and Cooperation
    --A Troubling Trend: Sports


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