Sample Essay on Sociological Impact of Sport Events

Sociological impact of sport events


            Sport events are usually organized activities that may be held over several days characterizing competitions in a wide range of sports involving various organized teams. Such events are usually held within a few days to help accommodate a huge number of people participating in varying events. Sports and general sporting events have proven to be a social than a personal issue of concern. This is because they attribute to a wide range of sociological impacts that affect certain social groups as well as the wider society (Coakley, 2009). To help understand these impacts, sports should be analyzed under the field of sociology, which defines a scientific field of study that analyzes social behaviors, their origins, advancement and organization. This would involve an aspect of sociological imagination, which defines the use imaginative consideration while asking as well as responding to sociological questions. On this note, sports would be analyzed as a social phenomenon so as to help understand the origin, advancement and organization of its impact on the wider society. Integration of imaginative thoughts would help to ask rational questions whose responses can be derived from the wider societal spectrum (Goldstein, 2009). This paper will thus play an important role in understanding the sociological impacts that sports events perpetuate. This paper will thus delve into the sociological impacts of sport events. The research question that this paper aims to respond to is; what are the sociological impacts of sport events?

Literature review

            Sport activities are an important social phenomenon that helps to bring together and unite people within the wider society. This has made the study of sports as a sociological issue to draw attention among different scholars that have had a great passion to understand how sport events have impacted the society. This literature reviews what such scholars have documented in relation to the topic, which will in return help to respond to the question of the study. Goldstein, 2009), who defines sports as different forms of physical activities that involve physical, mental and social interaction, argues that sports play an important role in enhancing social cohesion. He argues that sport events promote peace and cooperation among society member particularly when they engage in fair plays that include friendly matches. The various life skills that people engage in during sports promote their psychological wellbeing thereby enhancing a positive connection with others.

Just like Goldstein, Hargreaves (2012) has agreed to the fact that sports reflect people’s interaction in a given society. He has however argued that such interactions are usually exhibited in a negative way thereby portraying negative human traits that include dishonesty, drug abuse, corruption and violence. Such traits may for example be apparent in instances where great awards would be issued to the winning team, and as such, participants may use drugs to rejuvenate their muscles, which attributes to cases of corruption and violence.

An inquiry by Coakley (2009) showed that sport events promote economic development, which is a positive sociological impact. The economic benefit associated with sports results from manufacturing sport-related products, hosting sport events and services that include media coverage. During this inquiry, Coakley for example found out that the UK had reported a 1.7% increase in GDP as a result of sport-related activities. Coakley has equally agreed to the fact that sport events contribute to economic development within a society. He argues that sports provide an easy means to create employment among young members of a society. This enhances development by limiting cases of juvenile crime, cases of child labor and other delinquent behaviors.

Data and methods

            Different data and methods employed during different scholarly inquiries showed that sport events are wide spread that they impact different societies that include Australia, USA, France and Canada. An inquiry by Kornblum (2013) was carried out in Australia and it involved a sample population of fifty respondents that were engaged in the study through telephone interviews. The findings of this inquiry showed that individuals participating in sports events are 22% more likely to report good health compared to non-participants. This indicated that sport events play an important role in promoting societal health by ensuring that those engaging in such events have improved physical fitness, mental wellbeing and social integration. The findings of this inquiry may however be unreliable since all respondents were reached via telephone, and as such, the researcher did not have any means to verify whether the provided information was true or false.

Another inquiry by Ramchandani & Coleman (2012) was carried out in USA and it involved a sample population of a hundred respondents. The findings on this inquiry showed that sports provide a suitable employment opportunity by offering participants with a constructive activity from which they can generate income. This improves the general economic welfare of certain members of the society thereby contributing to the overall economic efficiency of the wider society. Reliability of the study findings was however limited by the fact that the researcher could not collect sufficient amount of information from the respondents since they mainly included the sports participants. This made it hard to get hold of a reasonable number of participants due to human traffic and noise, which deterred effective response to the survey questions.

Shephard (2011) further undertook an inquiry in France in which he engaged two hundred participants using the quantitative research methodology. Just like Ramchandani & Coleman, Shephard found out that sports events contribute to economic development by creating employment opportunities among members of the society. The findings of his inquiry showed that 40% of sports participants in France have 50% more chances to secure employment in any organization compared to non-participants. The huge population sample engaged in the study however interfered with the study process as the researcher found it tedious to compute the study results. The ultimate findings may however have been reliable since data was collected from a huge population sample.

Inoue & Havard (2014) also conducted an inquiry in Canada involving forty respondents using the Q-sort methodology to collect data. He realized that sports events have played a significant role in perpetuating positive education impact among participants in Canada. Findings of this inquiry showed that 30% of sports participants were likely to respond positively in furthering their education compared to non-participants.  This inquiry was initially challenging since it took a longer duration of time to trace the study respondents than expected. The process was ultimately efficient after the respondents had been traced and it allowed for the collection of reliable results.


            Sociological perspectives can be employed in analyzing sports events so as to help understand why the sport-related world prevails the way it does. The functionalist perspective best explains this issue since it views the society as a well coordinated system with interlinked parts. Sports are thus analyzed in relation to how they contribute to this system through perpetuating participation and the subsequent positive impact that they instill on individuals and the wider society (Coakley, 2009). Conflict and symbolic perspectives do not give sufficient explanation to the issue. The conflict perspective for example assumes that relationships in the society are purely governed by economic forces and it thus ignores the importance of sports in promoting other aspects of life. On the other hand, symbolic perspective assumes that the society can only be sustained through the social meaning that societal members give to different social issues. According to this perspective, sports can only be understood through analyzing the social meanings that people in the society attach to it. This perspective however ignores the concept of power relations prevailing within the society and how they can influence sports events (Hargreaves, 2012).


            This paper intended to delve into the sociological impacts of sport events. Findings of this inquiry have shown that sports events are important social issues that have proven to draw significant attention among scholars. This is because the social issue has proven to attribute to different sociological impacts. Literature has shown that sports events contribute to economic development, quality health and education impacts. Legal procedures should thus be employed to help fight cases of corruption and dishonesty to ensure that sport events do not attribute to negative impacts that may include economic deterioration, violence and poor health. Data and methods employed during varying scholarly inquiries have confirmed that sport events can contribute to positive sociological impacts. This however depends on the validity of methods employed in the study. Future research should thus employ reliable data and methods that may include observation and one-on-one interviews. This would give the researchers an opportunity to seek for clarification on responses that may raise doubt.


Coakley, J. (2009). Inside Sports, Westport, CT: Routledge.

Goldstein, J. (2009). Sports, Games, and Play: Social and Psychological Viewpoints, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hargreaves, J. (2012). Sporting Females: Critical Issues in the History and Sociology of Women’s Sports, Westport, CT: Routledge.

Inoue, Y., & Havard, C. (2014). Determinants and consequences of the perceived social impact of a sport event. Journal of Sport Management. 28(3), 295-310.

Kornblum, W. (2013). Reconsidering the Sociology of Sports. Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, 42(5), 706-712.

Ramchandani, G. M., & Coleman, R. J. (2012). The inspirational effects of three major sport events. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 3(3), 257-271.

Shephard, R. (2011). The health and socioeconomic impacts of major multi-sport events: systematic review (1978-2008). Yearbook of Sports Medicine, 2011, 3-6.