Sport and Inequality. a Comparative, International Analysis

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: 412
Oral Presentation
Max HALLER , Sociology, University of Graz, Graz, Austria
Social inequality in sport is an important topic in Sociology. Ever since modern sports were established there have been differences in the type and frequency of sports practiced by different socio-economic classes. Do these socio-economic differences in sport participation still exist today? Or are other horizontal dimensions more important in determining who is participating in which type of sport and how often? In this presentation these questions will be examined using the 2007 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) on “sport and leisure time”. The relevance of three dimensions of vertical stratification (education, occupational position, and income) is investigated as well as of two horizontal dimensions (gender and age) for 34 countries around the world by using descriptive and causal (regression) methods of analysis. The results are surprising and even spectacular. Contrary to the widespread thesis that the vertical dimensions of stratification are losing in importance in favor of new, horizontal dimensions, we find that if anything it is the horizontal  dimensions that have lost in importance.. Participation in sports is much higher in rich countries than in poorer countries, also, the more affluent a country the lower the relevance of the horizontal dimensions. Indeed, in the most affluent countries the effects of horizontal dimension are even reversed.