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Social Influences on Performance and Participations Essay Sample

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Social Influences on Performance and Participations Essay Sample


* Basic requirements of physical activity, either sport or recreation are time, space, and the freedom, facilities, motivation, and desire to participate.

* Cultural factors that are constraints on physical activity can be categorised as, enforced and natural constraints.

Enforced constraints- e.g. political, gender-based, religious or economic restrictions.

Natural constraints – .g. natural and unavoidable restrictions.


* All physical activity uses resources.

* The provision and maintenance of resources require both the economic and political will to do so. A society needs to embrace the notion of freedom to participate in physical activity, even if there are unavoidable economic constraints.


The physical activity that was once an essential part of everyday life has been left behind with social and technological advancements. As a result in this change of lifestyle there are health concerns affecting people of all ages clearly on fitness obesity, and cardiac problems.

This is mainly due to:

Lack of facilities


Body shape (self image)

Lack of self-control

Many school do not promote P.E (interest lacks)

* Prevention occurs when increasing the levels of physical activity across all sections of the community.

Health concerns are also related to the notion of access, opportunity, and provision.

Access – Access is the ability to take part. Access to physical activity is a product of opportunity and provision.

Institutions and agencies largely control Opportunity and provision. These two determine the level of access. These two are also affected by cultural, political, and religious constraints.

The political dogma is the driving force behind policies of sport, recreation, and physical education – participation ids required at all levels. The nature and level of participation serves the political needs rather than individual or group needs.

Cultural constraints are a major constraint related to opportunity and provision. There are examples of constraints amongst religion. ——- Muslim women are discriminated of some activities … time…. swimming.








DISCRIMINATION – Ethnic minority groups are not always given full opportunity /access to physical activity. There are 5 main cultural factors lead to discrimination in sport:

* Gender

Each year, 33% of all men participate in some form of sporting activity, whereas 10% of women do.

-Women’s role in society is seen as needing to conform to a certain role, i.e. the housekeeping role.

-Due to the demands of work and family, women tend to have much less leisure time than men.

-Media influences.

* Class

The main discriminator is money — history and tradition of sport — upper class have more money, lower class less money therefore sport is less applicable.

* Race

A major discriminator is the colour of a person’s skin, this is linked with stereotypes, i.e. black people can’t swim.

* Age

The younger you are (16-24 years olds), the more likely you could participate in sport. Discrimination may involve not playing in physical activity because you seem to be too old for the activity or you have ‘passed your time’.

* Ability

Two areas:

-Your ability in a [particular sport and he generally able you are. People with disabilities have had little opportunity to take pat in sport. Nearly all the facilities were built geared towards able-bodied and not disabled. However…

– Your ability in a particular sport can also be a discriminator. Most clubs only allow the most talented players too play (elitist) and discriminate players of lower ability….


Negative criticism and self-talk.

Many participants think they are simply ‘too old for sport are not for them’.


Making the mockery out of the performers, e.g. ‘footballers are dumb’, ‘girls can’t fight’. This can have an effect on whether or not people take part in sporting activities.

Stereotypes are usually abound within groups normally considered to be disadvantaged of discriminated. There are 2 times of stereotypes:

Negative stereotypes – vies that do little to advance the causes of the groups.

Positive stereotypes – challenge traditional or negative stereotypes and enhance the mage of particular group.


The perception that minority groups have on themselves and how this might affect their decision to participate in sport.


A selection process to determine the ranking or pecking order in which outside groups should be placed, e.g. hierarchy…. Centrality refers to the centralised control exerted by the dominant cultural influence.






Expectations. The self-esteem of cultural groups who find themselves low in the stacking order is hardly to be high. Policies of exclusion in sport and recreation simply serve to reinforce what is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy of low expectations and achievements.


Where specific groups are targeted for particular finding or provision. For any targeting to be effective, such groups are identified as sub groups of a larger disadvantaged group.

Targeting policies are more likely to be effective where a specific sub-group with specific needs is identified. E.g.— ethnic women disabled people, the elderly, etc.

Targeting therefore identifies specific groups for whom normal levels of provision are insufficient, but who, if encouraged may well develop a capability for self-empowerment.

Targeting policies usually face two major difficulties:

* Provision for adequate funding

* Social, racial or religious prejudice has to be overcome.


Reformative policies are intended to work towards open access to recreations in those areas of society where it is limited. – This is mainly due to inadequate provision or because of cultural beliefs that discourage, such as access.

The polices develop initiatives to increase provision and participation, it therefore ensures that some outcomes which is achievable is obtained.


Geographical restrictions can be overcome. Especially for those national communities processing a broad range of natural facilities. Such advantages include being able to cope with the countries topography and climate.

– Large landmasses such as the USA or Australia not only have spatial advantages and physical variety but also encompass a range of climatic conditions. So in the US it is possible to find appropriate conditions for a wealth of summer and winter sports, as well as for those on land and in water.

– There is also an effect of technology. It is possible to artificially create natural environments both indoors and outdoors, such as an indoor cricket pitch.


Athletes are encouraged to behave in ways that would not be allowed in other areas of life. This can pose special problems for sport. Culture and tradition plays a large part in such interpretations of what is acceptable and not.

In America the now infamous ‘Lombardian Ethic’ was a major part in sport as it favoured the rule of ‘ winning at all cost’ including cheating. This term has now declined, however it has been devised in a new conception called sportsmanship.

The term sportsmanship is though to have originated from public schools when boys participated, they saw that it was better to ‘lose honourably than to win by cheating’.

Nethertheless, many people do not prefer this view that it is better to ‘get away with whatever you can’. Therefore changing views and social values must inevitably find their way into any current sporting mortality.

The potential rewards for the success often outweigh any such moral considerations. However, this term is sometimes replaced by gamesmanship, which is the intention to compete to the limits allowed by the rules and beyond, if that is achievable without penalty.

Deviance in the Olympics can also occur by relating to the use of drugs.

In the last 20 years, drug taking has become a very common part of top class sport, in spite of the efforts of various national and international doping committees. It appears that the chemist supplying sportspeople with drugs are trying to keep one step ahead. However, there are problem with defining how the use of drugs can be deviant in sport. A simple way of explaining deviance in sport is any behaviour designed to gain unfair advantage by the means of:

– Gamesmanship

– Interfering with equipment

– Knowingly taking banned substances for the purpose of gaining unfair advantage…

Ben Johnson demonstrated an example of deviance in sport. Johnson decided to gain advantage from the use of steroids. He was stripped of his medal and banned from athletics for life.

The latest challenge centres on the use of EPO, which increases blood oxygenation by forming additional red blood cells. This improves stamina and the drug can be produced comparatively cheaply.

The IOC anti doping campaign is based upon 3 principles:

– The protection of athletes

– Respect for medical and sports ethics

– Ensuring an equal chance for everyone during competitions.

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