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How sports relates to society

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Social theory plays a critical role in explaining the behavior of people in social institutions by focusing on patterns, interactions and events in the society to explain the observed phenomena. Defined by Woods (4) as competitive and organized physical activities away from everyday activities that sustain life and yield economic gain, sports have been in existence since the prehistoric times. It begins with play in childhood maturing to professional sports in adulthood. From this definition, it would be clear to indicate that the components of sports include the physical aspect, competition, an outside conduct and results governing group and specialized equipment and facilities. In professional sports, athletes would be extrinsically rewarded with fame, money and prestige. Anderson (1) appreciates sports as a socially valuable enterprise. Among the common sports include football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, running and treadmill among many others. Socialization and sports Socialization refers to a life-long process of social learning and development that result from interaction among individuals and learning the societal expectations of proper behavior that would allow for participation and functioning in the society (Delaney Madigan 77). As people learn the norms, social skills, behavioral expectations and values at micro level, they acquire personal identities. Therefore, an athlete would be expected to conform to specific expectations in line with the set out roles just as a coach would be expected to conform to the expectations regarding the coach’s role. Involuntary exit from a team could be as a result of low skill levels, poor attitude and off-the field problems among other reasons. The meaning attached to sports experience would be given in connection to social relationships while meanings attached to sports experience would be based on cultural definitions on gender, ethnicity, race, sexuality and social class considered to be socially important. Critical theories on socialization explain how humans acquire ideologies as a result of participation or involvement in sports (Anderson 2). With regard to these theories, this paper gives the social benefits resulting from benefits and the potential limitations. Social significance of sports The US Department of Health and Human Services has noted the important role that sports play in promoting a healthier nation (Coalter 8). The physical activities involved in sports could cause a reduction in the incidence of diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer, osteoporosis, hemorrhagic stokes and non-insulin dependent diabetes. These physical activities also have a positive impact on mental health though the mechanisms that relate psychological well-being to physical activities still remain flimsy. Acknowledging this postulation, the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace (6) recommended thirty accumulative minutes per day of physical activities for the realization of gainful effect on health. According to the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace, sport as a school for life imparts skills through physical education, play and sport itself through holistic development (8). Sports impart key values among those involved such as cooperation, communication, understanding, respect for others, leadership and tolerance among others. It even plays a