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Sport as Culture: Social class, styles of cultural consumption, and sports engagement in Canada

GEMAR, ADAM,JAMES (2019) Sport as Culture: Social class, styles of cultural consumption, and sports engagement in Canada. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The consumption of culture has often been ascribed the power to reflect and reproduce social inequalities. However, most work in this area has focused upon music and the arts. Sport is an important element of culture that can and should be studied in a similar fashion as others (Bourdieu, 1978). This thesis thus seeks to bring the theoretical frameworks and analytical tools of sociologies of culture further into the realm of sport. Substantively, this thesis provides an updated and comprehensive re-examining of the relationship between direct sports participation and social stratification in the relatively unexplored national context of Canada. I also innovatively provide an examination of the relationship between social stratification and professional sports consumption. Finally, this thesis fills a gap in the literature by analysing where the consumption of sport fits within broader cultural lifestyles. For these investigations, I use large-scale survey data and various statistical methods to test the foundational theories of Pierre Bourdieu, the ‘omnivore’ thesis, and individualisation arguments of social action to explain these patterns. The findings show direct sports participation relying primarily on dispositions towards the body which are stratified by education and income, especially for the most elite sports. They also show the two most selective omnivorous profiles for professional sport, rather than the most omnivorous, with the highest levels of education and income. This thesis thus sheds doubt on the omnivore thesis within sport, while also showing elements of individualisation regarding age and sex differentiation in consumption. Sports consumption in Canada thus cuts across all three theories of the relation between socio-economic position and sport. These more delimitated consumption profiles contrast with the general adherence to the omnivore thesis within broader cultural lifestyles. This therefore suggests that sport may be a cultural domain where general omnivores practise more distinctive consumption.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Sociology, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Jan 2020 14:33

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