Social Psychology- Politics and Media in Sport

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Politics and Media in Sport
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What is the definition of Politics?

Politics is the study of conflicts, power and policy.


Why do governments get involved in sport? List the 7 main reasons.

1. To safeguard the public order so that people would behave accordingly

2. To Maintain and Develop Well-Being, Fitness & Physical Abilities of Citizens

3. To Promote the Prestige of a Group, Community, and/or Nation

4. To Promote a Sense of Identity, Belonging, and Unity

5. To Emphasise Cultural Ideology

6. To Increase Citizen Support of Individual and Political Leaders and Government Itself

7. To Promote Economic Development


What are the Major Themes Underlying Sport Images & Messages which are Portrayed in the Media?

1. Success themes

2. Masculinity & femininity themes

3. Race & ethnicity themes

4. Nationalism themes

5. Aggression and violence themes


Explain Success themes in relation to media and sport.

  • Competition and hard work pays off
  •  Assertiveness, dominance, and obedience to authority
  •  Supporting others, teamwork, autonomy.
  •  Personal growth, cooperation, compromise, intrinsic motivation, passion, commitment.

Explain and give examples of masculinity and femininity themes in relation to media and sport.

  •  Men’s sport receive over 85% of coverage
  •  Women sport reported if elegant or sexy
  •  Commentaries of women often undervalue achievements
  •  Reference to “female weaknesses”
  •  Men’s sports considered historically significant
  •  Women's sports considered lighter & less serious
  •  Women receive less headlines
  •  Most media personnel are men
  •  These stereotypical themes impact the socialisation of young girls’ and boys’ perceptions of women's sport

Explain and give examples of race and ethnicity themes in relation to media and sport.

 Over use of “poor boy makes it to the big league”

Media coverage may influence aspirations of youth, especially teenage black Americans

 90% of high school basketball players believe that they will make it to the NBA

 Media’s stereotypes of black athletes

– Natural ability, good instincts

– Unique physical attributes
– Tendencies to be undisciplined

– Phrases like “jungle”, “the wild”


Explain and give examples of Nationalism themes in relation to media and sport.

  • Nationalism - grounded in loyalty and patriotism – “We won” – “Our Sport”
  •  Sports that don’t match traditional ideas about what it means to be Australian/American don’t receive priority coverage in Australia/America.

Explain and give examples of Violence and Aggression themes in relation to media and sport.

  • Images and narratives portray rough, aggressive play as a sign of commitment and skill
  •  Athletes/teams praised as “warriors”
  •  Common use of words such as “destroyed” and “crushed”

List examples of how media can influence the audience.

  • Media provides topics of conversation
  •  Men & women who live together often watch sport together
  •  People get together for the telecast of certain events
  •  Can bring people together but can also cause conflict
  •  Do you think that the media encourages its audience to be more active in physical activity and/or sport? – Obesity problems. – Role modelling through imitation.

List reasons why sports rely on media.

– Media provides publicity for sports

 Participant sports do not require media for survival

Entertainment sports need media for survival – Media coverage attracts attention
– Direct source of revenue for sports
– Direct source of revenue for players/teams

Players gain status
 Media expands commercial value of sports


List reasons why Media rely on sports.

Much of the media does not depend largely on sport for content or sales (e.g., non-sport magazines, books, radio, movies, & internet).

– However, less true for newspapers & TV

  •  Daily newspapers have depended on sports sections to boost circulation & advertising revenues
  •  Many television companies have depended on sports to fill program schedules, attract viewers, & the sponsors that want to reach them.