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Literature Review

Will Hoekwater Southern New Hampshire University SPT-501 Research Methods in Sports Management Dr. Richard Hsiao


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Not everybody is a golfer: Bourdieu and affluent bodies in Mexico.

This article examines the golf clubs in Mexico as well as the membership of the people in the upper-middle and upper social classes to demonstrate how socio-economic status and lack thereof are internalized. It also utilized Bourdieu’s model to look into the association between physical games and the internalization of social structures. This article strongly relates to my research question of “how social class affects golf?” since it focuses on the area of sports, clubs, and social structures. Golf in Mexico is only played by the affluent private clubs which depicts social stratification.

This study was followed an ethnography of three major golf clubs in the city of Mexico that was conducted for 7 months 2010 and 2014 summers. Two main sources were used during the study: field notes to try and comprehend the association between business and golf, as well as 58 semi-structured in-depth interviews carried out among businesspeople, business executives, golf journalists, caddies, and other people who were associated with the sport. The snowball method was used to collect the interviews. There was an ethical consideration in place, especially at the golf course where the interviews were not recorded to reduce the bias via preconceived categories into the study research.

However, this study had a few limitations which may impact my research. The researcher’s limited capital hindered him from becoming a golf sociologist among other golfers. Being situated between the middle and lower-middle class prevented the researcher from cooperation with some participants which means that some interviewees were not entirely honest in their responses. The research process was also affected by symbolic and material dynamics since establishing contacts, particularly in the upper class was difficult due to the researcher’s subordinate position among the golfers. Additionally, the researcher had poor golf skills which prevented him from properly interacting bodily with some of the interviewees at the golf course (Ceron-Anaya, 2017).

This study is very key because it shows how golf is associated with high social status and high social recognition. It also displays the disparities and power dynamics of the sport. Golf is a sport where people strive to get the meaning of the society, their personal identity, and their position within the social world.

Caddies and “Cronies”: golf and changing patterns of exclusion and inclusion in post-apartheid South Africa

This article demonstrates how to golf as a sport represents the change of exclusion from race to class. The study emphasizes how golf has excluded most of the South African population from vital resources and how it is promoting some people to become power elite with economic and political power. This article totally relates to my research question as it examines the interplay between becoming a golf player and achieving a certain social class, and it also explains the benefits of being a member of the elite class in terms of gaining power and influence.

This article does a comprehensive analysis of the literature about some golfers. This study shows that these golfers are entangled in personalized networks based on capitalism. This article proves that golf is generally about class power connected to capitalism and extremes of social and wealth displays. This study also shows that although most South Africans are poor, golf courses are more expensive and the average citizen cannot afford them. Besides, golfers who are made up mostly of whites are paid large sums of money which creates an elite class surrounded by large circles of less privileged people (Cock, 2008).

This article informs my research proposal by explaining the aspects of the inclusion and exclusion of golf as a sport. Golf has taken people’s land, heritage, decent work, and being involved in making decisions. The dynamics of inclusion depict how only those who can afford are allowed to play the game. The white community makes up the majority of this group and there are mostly political and business interactions during golf activities. Golf portrays a high social class where the powerful and rich dominate and the rest of the people with low socio-economic status remain at the bottom. The black elite also meets in such golf settings to strike deals and make informal networks with other powerful people.

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