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Title:The Social Distribution of Sport Involvement
Author(s):Rudman, William Joseph
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract:In the last 25 years, many changes have taken place in the climate of sport itself and in the aspects of American society that may affect sport. We have witnessed the shift from principally amateur status in sport to the modern emphasis on professionalism. Media coverage, especially that of television, has dramatically increased. This has been a period of time where economic growth has been accompanied by an increase in discretionary income and time that may be applied to sport involvement. This period has seen both the baby boom and most recently the greying of American society. The decline of overt racial prejudice and the movement of women into the work force have had implications for traditional features of race and sex differences in sport involvement. This dissertation examines how these changes in sport are reflected in contemporary socio-demographic differences in sport. The findings suggest that traditional differences in sport involvement related to age, race, and sex still exist. Age and age-related factors are the most important determinants of sport involvement. As an individual ages, factors influencing sport involvement as well as personal involvement change. At younger ages the competitive elements of sport are emphasized. During middle age, sport takes on a distinct family orientation. Finally, at older ages much of the variation in sport involvement can be accounted for by the effects of socioeconomic factors. Although race and sex differences still exist, factors influencing involvement for blacks and whites, and for males and females are similar. This pattern suggests that as social conditions change for blacks and women, patterns of sport involvement will become similar to those of males and whites. Patterns of sport involvement observed in the analyses strongly suggest the need to consider sport in terms of lifestyle activities. Sport is one type of social behavior related to and dependent upon other types of social behaviors. If we are to understand the role and importance of sport for the individual, it is necessary to examine how sport fits into overall behavioral patterns.
Issue Date:1985
Description:207 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600301
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985

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