Quick revise

There are difficulties associated with studying deviance

Deviance in sport can not be described by a single theory

The forms and causes of deviance in sport are so diverse that no single theory can explain all of them e.g. Talking back to the coach, exertion to the point of vomiting, hazing new team members, etc.

Deviance in sport is not always congruent with deviance in society

Forms and causes vary by sport, team, athlete, etc. What is accepted in sports may be deviant in other spheres of society e.g. Boxing-outside of the ring would be criminal assault. Social worlds created around sports often are different from other social worlds.

Unquestioned acceptance of norms

Deviance in sport often involves an unquestioned acceptance of norms, rather than a rejection of norms e.g. Unquestioned acceptance of extreme conformity - no I in TEAM.

Overdoing it deviance-extreme commitment Athletes often accept without question the norms that define what it means to be an athletes, and it is overconformity to those norms, not rejection of them, that often leads to extreme actions.

Training and performance have become “medicalised”

Many people now believe that ingesting substances thought to enhance performance is a necessary part of being an athlete e.g. Nutritional supplements and marketing of them


There are three primary approaches  

  • Functionalist Theory-deviance disrupts shared values
  • Conflict Theory-deviance interferes with the interests of people with economic power
  • Interactionist and Critical Theories-deviance is based in social processes and power relations
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