Humanism and Sportsmanship in an Uncivil Society

By Tim Delaney.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since its inception, during the Renaissance period, humanism has been a cultural and intellectual movement that emphasizes secular concerns of civility, morality and ethical behavior. Sport, a prime example of a secular social institution, has been used as a mechanism to teach civility during this same humanistic time period. Sport promotes humanistic ideals in the form of sportsmanship. Sportsmanship involves fair play, decency, and respect — for oneself, the community, and for the sport itself. Ideals of sportsmanship, such as competitiveness, hard work, fair play, obedience to authority, and dedication, are tied to a society’s cultural morality. Sportsmanship is tied to morality because it represents an ideal form of behavior — to be a good sport and play fairly. In this regard, sportsmanship and humanism overlap because both promote a system of thought or action, designed to remove the social obstacles that confront individuals as they attempt to reach their full potential. This paper will explore the humanist ideals of sportsmanship in an uncivil world.

Keywords: Sportsmanship, Humanism, Civility, Fair Play

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.23-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 605.764KB).

Dr. Tim Delaney

Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Sociology, State University of New York at Oswego, Oswego, NY, USA

Tim Delaney is an Associate Professor of sociology and the Department Chair of Sociology at the State University of New York at Oswego where he teaches a variety of courses including sport sociology courses. He earned his B.S. in sociology from SUNY Brockport, a M.A. degree in sociology from California State University Dominquez Hills, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Delaney is the author of numerous books including Sports: Why People Love Them!, The Sociology of Sport, Shameful Behaviors, Simpsonology: There’s A Little Bit of Springfield in All of Us!, and Seinology: The Sociology of Seinfeld. He has published over 100 book reviews; numerous book chapters, journal and encyclopedia articles, and has been published in five continents. Delaney is an outstanding teacher and has taught a wide variety of sociology and criminology courses. Professor Delaney is listed as a “Media Expert” and regular grants interviews with newspapers and radio show programs across the United States and Canada. He has also appeared on a number of local TV entertainment and news programs. Tim Delaney regularly presents papers at regional, national, and international conferences (including St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia; Buenos Aires; Dublin; London; and Amsterdam). Delaney maintains membership in ten professional associations. Delaney has served as President of the New York State Sociological Association (NYSSA) in 2001 and 2004, Vice-President in 2000, and as Session Chair for over a decade. Delaney is currently serving as co-Treasurer of the NYSSA.

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