Perspective on Football

Critical thinking: Sociological
In American culture football is the most popular sport of all.   Football is more than just a sport it is a group of people that can be considered friends and even sometimes as family.   Football is only one of a thousand “groups” that brings together young men that develop over time into close-knit relationships outside of the family dynamic.   The game of football is a competition between two opposing teams that face off in order to out skill one another in order to achieve one goal; winning.   Approximately 5.5 million children from the ages of 8 to 14 alone play football. High school statistics for the ages of 14 to 18 is approximately 1.1 million players. So roughly in the age groups of 8 to 18 roughly 6.6 million children are playing football today. In the NFL, there are approximately 1,700 players with approximately 61% being African Americans, Hispanics, Samoans, etc (non-whites) and the remaining 39% of players are white. Sociological theories are the best methods to analyze the structure, relationships and impact of groups such as football players.   The main three sociological areas to examine football players are structural functionalism, Conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. No matter which view is used when examining football, football is a complex sport and each theory provides a different view on the success of each team reaching their goal of winning.
“Structural-Functionalism views shared norms and values as the basis of society, focuses on social order based on tacit agreements between groups and organizations, and views social change as occurring in a slow and orderly fashion” (Ritzer 286).   “Structural-Functionalists would state that sports overall play a very important role in our society.   To a degree functionalist would state that a sport team is a small sampling of American society.   The reason is that all the players have a specific role, which they study, hone their skill set at and...