Functionalist Theory
Quick revise
  • Deviance disrupts shared values
    • Deviance-failure to conform, violators are morally bankrupt and disruptive
  • Deviance-failure to conform
    • Departure from cultural ideals
      • Failure to learn and internalize cultural beliefs and norms
      • Conflicts and strains within society
    • Sport’s cultural ideals and norms
      • Improving skills, reaching goals, commitment
      • Deviance results from rejecting sport norms

Problems with Functionalist Theory

Theory Lack of agreement about the importance of various goals makes deviance difficult to identify,  Is the goal of sport to win or to play fair? Deviance is difficult to identify unless the goal is clearly defined.

Perceptions and assumptions that controlling deviance must come from increasing conformity. 

Assumptions that violators of sport norms lack moral character, intelligence and so on.

Ignores the powerful influences within sport. Athletes are labeled as moral failures when, athletes are often hyper conformers who do not question the norms that have been instilled in them as athletes.


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