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Three Sociological Theories in Comparison to the Super Bowl

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The Super Bowl is something many Americans look forward to every year. They voice their support for their team of choice, wear their team merchandise, and get together with friends and family to partake in watching the annual Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is available to all social classes and doesn’t seem to pertain to just one target audience. However, some aspects of the Super Bowl sit differently with different social classes, causing a subtle change in the disposition of attendees.

Thinking about the Super Bowl from the perspective of Structural Functionalism, you are able to tell how the crowds of people function together as one—no matter, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc. The Super Bowl’s broad and diverse crowd, joins together people of all different backgrounds and classes, while maintaining a seemingly uplifting atmosphere. It is the act of watching football and cheering on a specific team that allows people to look past their differences and see the common goal—for their team of choice to win. These positive interactions between groups can even be an eye-opening experience for some, and also promote the idea of groups coexisting in a competitive event.

With every positive, however, seems to come a negative somewhere down the line. The negative involved in the Functionalist perspective of the Super Bowl is the branding that goes on —from the advertisements played between clips to the actual game itself. Football is mostly

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considered a sport that should be played by men and men alone. Women who aspire to play football in our society are typically either not taken seriously or are ignored. The Super Bowl promotes only men playing in the game. There were never any videos of women players, and in almost every advertisement, women were shown from more of a typical housewife label and never seem to be in any lead role or form of power. This stereotyping of women as not being capable of playing a predominantly man’s sport, shines a negative light on women’s capabilities in not only football, but in society.

The Super Bowl also creates a lot of revenue. It is a monumental event which takes an abundance of preparation and planning, providing many people with more job opportunities. The new plentitude of jobs and money made from the Super Bowl for people of all social classes, can be considered a positive social change—not just for workers, but also for the city in which the Super Bowl is being held.

Gender inequalities can also be seen through the Conflict Theory perspective. The act of excluding women from such a significant sport to American culture just touches the surface of the great depth of the fact that women are ostracized from many daily aspects of life. This shines a light on the common struggle for a woman to constantly have to fight to be seen as an equal to a man. The Super Bowl, in my opinion, is seen largely as a male



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