Sport and Society


Sport and society- Timeline

Sport and Society- Timeline:

1700-1850: Pre-Industrial Society

1850-1899: Post industrial Society

1900-1999: 20th Century

2000-2099: 21st Century

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Pre-industrial Britain

Social Class: 1700-1850:

  • Britain was a feudal society, consisting of the upper class who were often members of the gentry who owned land and the lower class who worked on the land.
  • The upper class played real tennis and fox hunting, they were sophisticated sports and had complex writtten rules. The upper class wagered to show status.
  • The lower class played mob football and ****-fighting, games were simple as there was no written rules. The lower class wagered to go from rags to riches.
  • Both particiated in prize fighting and pedestrianism but each class had different roles, the lower class being the participant and the upper class acting as coaches/sponsors
  • Both classes played cricket in village teams, but each class had seperate changing rooms and the captain was always from the upper class. Lower class were gardeners to the pitch
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Pre-industrial Britain

Law and order- 1700-1850:

  • The upper class rewarded skill over force by playing non-violent sports such as real tennis. Games were played regularly as they don't work and the upper class were civilised.
  • The lower class had  harsh/violent so they played violent sports that rewarded force over skill.
  • The lack of law and order led to violent blood drawing sports like baiting and prize fighting.
  • Public executions and public stocks were popular.
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Pre-industrial Britain

Availability of time-1700-1850:

  • Upper class had lots of free time and played sports regularly as they don't work.
  • Lower class had a lack of free time as work was seasonal, this meant that sports were played anually which limited their opportunities. Holy days were used as an opportunity to play sport.
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Pre-industrial Britain

Type and availability of transport-1700-1850:

  • Upper class used horse and carriage where the lower class were used as protection- usually the best prizefighters. This meant that games were played regularly with set rules.
  • Lower class had a lack of transport- the majority was on foot. This meant games were played locally and occasionally, this resulted in local variations in rules between towns
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Pre-industrial Britain


  • The upper class were wealthy and they could afford purpose built facilities. They wagered to show status which resulted in an increased chance of corruption. They played sport as amateurs.
  • The lower class were quite poor and used natural facilities with simple equipment. They wagered to go from rags to riches. They played sports for money as professionals.
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Pre-industrial Britain


  • Men played physical sports like mob football as women werent allowed to participate.
  • Upper class women participated in ballroom dancing.
  • Lower class women participated in smock racing and morris dancing.
  • Women couldn't participate due to their inferior social status, traditional gender roles, it was unlady like and medical concerns for future fertility.
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Pre-industrial Britain

Education and Literacy-1700-1850:

  • The upper class were educated, at schools like Eton, so sports had complex written rules meaning it was standardised.
  • The lower class were illiterate, mainly educated in church, so sports had simple unwritten rules which resulted in local variations that limited participation.
  • Emergence of the middle class, who educated themselves in maths and english, They were the merchants class as they weren't born into the upperclass and they created middle schools.
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Pre-industrial Britain

Characteristics of pre-industrial sport:

  • Simple/Natural- games required basic equipment
  • Occasional- games were played annually or on holy days
  • Local- games were played in the local community
  • Wagering- gambling was central to sporting activities
  • Violence/cruelty- used for entertainment in sport in mob football/baiting
  • Simple/unwritten rules- the lower class were illiterate
  • Courtly/popular- real tennis was courtly, mob football was popular
  • Rural- games were played in rural villages in a natural environment
  • Occupational- Jobs were a way to make money through sport
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Pre-industrial Britain

How do social factors affect characteristics between 1700-1850?

  • Popular/courtly sports are determined by social class. Mob football is popular and real tennis is courtly.
  • Local sports is caused by a lack of transport as the lower class travellled on foot whilst the upper class travelled by horse and carriage.
  • Simple unwritten rules were caused by education as the majority of the lower class were illiterate.
  • Cruel/violent sports were determined by the lack of law and order but upper class games were mainly skill based.
  • Occasionally sports were played due to a lack of available time for the lower class.
  • Rural villages played sports due to Britain being an agriculutral society.
  • Natural/simple equipment was determined by the availability of money. Mob football was played using a pigs head.
  • Wagering was determined by the availability of money as th upper class wagered to show status.
  • Sports were occupational because of the amount of money available e.g. race walking because of being a footman.
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Post-industrial Britain


  • Upper class women played croquet in the garden with their male partners.
  • Middle class created lawn tennis as an athletic alternative, they played alongside their male partner. Women played at the front in long dresses and were not expected to be athletic.
  • Mixed tennis became a fashionable activity.
  • Over time women became more athletic and the sport of tennis helped to change their status. Women gained the right to vote, study and work.
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Post-industrial Britain

Law and order-1850-1899:

  • A police force was established, which banned traditional mob games in the new urban society.
  • Restrictions on wagering reduced corruption in sport.
  • RSPCA banned working class baiting activities but fox hunting continued as it was a popular upper class sport.
  • Britain became civilised so they played refined skill based games.
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Post-industrial Britain

Availability of time/working conditions-1850-1899:

  • Opportunities for working class were reduced due to machine time being a 72hour week so the working class were too tired to play.
  • Reduction in bank holidays to 4
  • Late 19th century opportunities increased so working class could play regularly. Saturday 1/2 day in 1870. Reduced to a 57 hour week. 1890- A weeks paid holiday.
  • Factory owners provided annual trips to seaside and set up factory teams.
  • Public parks and public baths were introduced to improve health of the working class.
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Post-industrial Britain


  • National system of education was established in the 19th century. The Foster Act in 1870 improved the literacy and maths of the working class helping them to understand the rules of sport.
  • State elementary schools were established for the working class.
  • Middle class sent their boys to private schools copying the upper class with sport central to developing the boys character.
  • Girls boarding schools e.g. Cheltnam Ladies College was established in 1853.Headmisstresses such as Dorothea Beale promoted participation in sport.
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Post-industrial Britain


  • Machine time brought regular income to the working class families.
  • Lower class lacked income to play expensive sports but association football became the peoples game.
  • This gave the working class the opportunity to be professional with broken-time payments and they became local celebrities.
  • Spectatorism grew
  • Those with money in the middle/upper class played as amateurs.
  • The working class had to wait for public parks to participate in tennis as they couldnt afford purpose built facilities/memberships
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Post-industrial Britain

Social Class-1850-1899:    1873-Old Eatonians beaten by Blackburn Olympic-1873 

  • Emergence of the middle class (weathy factory owners). They had time and money for sport. They banned mob games but accepted more refined games like association football.
  • The middle/upper class played as gentleman amateurs, in sports such as association football,cricket and rugby union, purely for the love of the game.
  • Middle class created lawn tennis instead of real tennis in their own gardens.
  • Exclusive elitist sports like rowing and athletics had an exclusion clause in the 1896 Athens Olympics for participation from upper and middle class only.
  • Lower class were payed to play as professionals recieving broken time payments in cricket, rugby league and association football
  • Cricket was played together but had seperate roles, the captain was always amateur and both classes travelled/changed seperatelyy
  • Middle class amateurs became shamateurs such as W.C Grace who accepted money to play.
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Post-industrial Britain

Type and availability of transport-1850-1899:

  • Railways meant people could play/spectate across the country.
  • Games became regional/international with the creation of the football legue in 1888 or Enlgand V Scotland Rugby match in 1872
  • Rules become standardised- FA was formed in 1863 as sport became more regular.
  • Development in popular sea side resorts like Brighton/Blackpool
  • Working class would use railway to go back to the rural countryside, this established mountain walking.
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Post-Industrial Britain

How do social factors affect the characteristics of sport between 1850-1899:

  • Purpose built facilities due to advancements in technology and the availability of money.
  • Sports were played regularly due to increased free time as the result of saturday 1/2 days.
  • Sports were respectable due to the emergence of the middle class.
  • Written rules were established due to improvements in education and literacy of the working class
  • As a result of increased transport, sport could be played nationally/internationally.
  • Restrictions were placed on gambling due to increased law and order/police.
  • Sport became elitist due to the emergence of the middle class.
  • Areas and villages became urbanised due to the industrial revolution
  • Sports were played as amateurs v professionals due to social class and availability of money.
  • Fair play in sport improved due to the public school boys impact on sport.
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Influence of public schools

How did public school boys influence developments in sport?

  • The promotion of ethics through sport and games.
  • The promotion and organisation of sports and games, the 'cult of athleticism'- meaning, nature and impact on the spread and export of games and the games ethic
  • The public schools, such as Eton, Harrow and Rugby school were influential in developing rules and the organisation of sport.
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Influence of public schools

Stage 1- Bullying and brutality (1790-1828):

  • All boys schools for the sons of the gentry. The schools were boarding schools meaning they had a lot of free time.
  • The fee paying schools attracted boys from all over the country, hence the name public schools
  • Eton school opened in 1440. The schools had poor living conditions and older boys bullied younger boys through the 'fagging system'
  • Sports in schools were described as 'institutionalised popular recreation'
  • The boys used natural facilities, played in their free time, they were violent games which they adapted from the games played at home- mob football or cricket.
  • With boys coming from all over the country bringing their own rules each school created its own unique game e.g. the eton wall game.
  • The head masters didn't like the games but allowed the boys to play and organise matches to occupy their time.
  • The games varied from violent mob games which lacked skill and required an 'everyman for himself' approach to simple childlike games.
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Influence of public schools

Stage 2- Dr Arnold and Social Control (1828-1842):

  • Dr Thomas Arnold became the headmaster at Rugby School in 1828.
  • This was a time when society was becoming more civilised and Dr Arnold wanted to control the behaviour of the boys in the school.
  • He wanted to achieve 'social control'.

He done this by:

  • He made boys prefects
  • He reduced the severity of punishments
  • He improved the relationship between the masters and the boys e.g. tea with him/family
  • He made Christianity the focus of the school.
  • He developed the academic curriculum
  • He wanted to improve the health of the boys
  • He made participation in games compulsory
  • Sports became more regular between different boarding houses
  • Boys played on the school site and boys became captains
  • Games became less violent and more organised.
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Influence of public schools

Stage 3- Cult of athleticism (1842-1914):

  • Games became an obsession.Boys had compulsory games afternoons, regular intra-school fixtures between different boarding houses and inter school matches vs other schools.
  • Boys could play against other schools as rules became standardised.
  • The games became the headmasters prize and joy.
  • Games were played on purpose built facilities with spectators and set kit.
  • Games were played to develop character such as leadership, teamwork,endeavour and sportsmanship
  • Boys received 'colours' for representing the 1st XI and were role models to younger boys
  • Coaches were employed who were working class porfessionals to improve the boys skills
  • Assistant masters were employed to teach and coach the boys, some having played for prestigious Oxbridge Universities
  • The boys spread the game to the working class through the church as Priests e.g. Everton, Army officers helped spread games around the British Empire, teachers by teaching children the same values and through factory teams. They also became parents and established governing bodies.
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Influence of public schools

Cult of athleticism:

Cult of athleticism is described as 'Physical endeavour and moral integrity

Values of athleticism:

  • Atheleticism
  • Teamwork
  • Health-playing football regularly
  • Leadership-Captain of the cricket team
  • Endeavour- trying your best at football
  • Tactics- fielding positions in Cricket
  • Independence- boarding
  • Courage- playing football against older boys
  • Integrity- walking in cricket
  • Self realisation- learning how to swim
  • Muscular Christianity- football showing Christian Values
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20th Century Britain

Social Class (1900-1999):

  • Sports were divided by social class
  • Amateurism was dominated by middle class e.g. rugby union which turned pro in 1995.
  • Professionalism associated with working class e.g. football formation of Premier League in 1992
  • Both played cricket with different roles- middle/upper class were captains, lower class were pros. They travelled. changed and ate seperately. (shamateurs)
  • More time and money for the upper class which gave them more opportunities in sport
  • Middle/upper class with grammar schools dominate school competitions like Rugby Union/Cricket
  • Greater equality in the late 20th century due to the creation of public parks/ golf courses which gave the working class more opportunities to participate.
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20th Century Britain

Gender/ Changing role and staus of women:

  • Early 20th century women were still perceived as inferior
  • Women lacked equality in time, due to time spent looking after family or at clubs e.g. golf
  • 1900- first female olympians in archey, tennis and golf.
  • Women lack media and sponsors
  • Women's sports were mainly played as amateurs
  • Women had less variety of sports
  • Women were discriminated against at golf clubs
  • Development in girls sport like netball which became a dominant female sport
  • Women participated in men's sports- **** Kerr Ladies football team was banned in 1921
  • Female role models were created e.g. Helen Wills who won 31 grand slam tennis titles
  • Women participated in most Olympic sports by 1996 except for sports like boxing.
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20th Century Britain

Law and Order (1900-1999):

  • Sport used as a tool to appease the social unrest in society
  • Less violent sport and controlled gambling
  • As spectatorism grew more police were needed at sports events
  • 1970's-1980's seen increased football hooliganism - the Heysel disaster and more racism and homophobia - Brighton FC
  • Corruption in sport - drugs,match fixing and corrupt police - the Hillsborough disaster.
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20th Century Britain

Education (1900-1999):

  • State schools introduced compulsory military drills in 1902
  • 1944 Butler Education Act focusd on whole child development, not just military drills.
  • 1970's and 1980's national curriculum saw PE introduced as a subject
  • Industrial action meant teachers didn't work saturdays so parents developed amateur sports  clubs
  • PE for all
  • Private schools still had better facilities than public schools
  • Expansion of interschool fixtures and compulsory games afternoons resulted in better facilities,coaches and more time given to sport
  • Working class grammar schools began to rival private schools at the end of the 20th century
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20th Century Britain

Availability of time (1900-1999):

  • Upper/middle class still had more time for sport due to increased leisure time.
  • Working class hours from 9-5 meant increased leisure time for playing and spectating sport
  • Sports are played regularly on saturdays and alternative days such as sundays and midweek
  • Varying kick off times in the late 1990's with the introduction of Sky
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20th Century Britain

Availability of money (1900-1999):

  • Upper/middle class had more income for expensive sports e.g. skiing or equestrian
  • Expensive memberships for private facilities e.g. golf
  • Increased income of the working class towards the end of the 20th Century resulted in increased participation and spectatorism
  • Public facilities provide equality for sport between the upper/lower class
  • Money was spent on TV sports deals from 1992
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20th Century Britain

Transport (1900-1999):

  • Public transport - trains/buses dominated in the early 20th century meant there was a restricted access/opportunities to participate/spectate.
  • Private transport - cars/planes dominated in the late 20th century which resulted in:
  • increased regular participation, increased flexibility of what/where to play. increased spectatorism
  • increased international competitions e.g. the world cup, european cup both playing and spectating.
  • reduced physical activity due to less people walking. most families owned at least one car.
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21st Century Britain

Social Class (2000-2099):

  • Sports dominated by certain classes as impacts time, money, school availability which all impact sports.
  • Middle class dominate certain sports e.g. Rugby Union
  • Lower class attract to some professional sports e.g. Rugby League and Association Football
  • Social mobility can be acheived through sport e.g. Anthony Joshua
  • Professionalisation of Olympic amateur sports so performers have to be professionals to succeed e.g. Usain Bolt
  • Elite Olympic sports in the UK dominated by the Middle Class as half the London 2012 gold medalists were privately educated
  • Traditional middle class sports like Rugby Union have increased working class players due to professionalism
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21st Century Britain

Gender/Changing role and staus of women (2000-2099):

  • Still have more men participating/spectating in sports than women
  • Growth in participation and success in the Womens World Cup
  • F1 pit girls were banned
  • Olympic Female success creates positive role models e.g Jessica Ennis Hill
  • Women now participate across all olympic sports e.g Nicola Adams boxing gold medalist
  • Increased commercialisation of womens sport e.g. WSL but far behind mens sports
  • Campaigns to increase female participation e.g. this girl can
  • Womens fitness is fashionable with more classes and 12 week challenges
  • Discrimination still affecting womens sport e.g Former England Manager- Mark Sampson
  • Increased female presenters e.g. gabby logan or claire balding
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21st Century Britain

Law and Order (2000-2099):

  • Legislation has become more involved in sport e.g. FIFA
  • Increased cases of negligence in sport e.g. Rugby Referees
  • Referees/players/coaches are more likely to be sued e.g. Eva Canerio against Jose Mourinho for sexual discrimination
  • Increased criminal prosecutions against sports people for violent conduct e.g Duncan Ferguson assault
  • Increased police attention on match-fixing
  • Racial and gender equality laws have reduced discrimnation e.g. golf memberships
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21st Century Britain

Education (2000-2099):

  • Private schools have better facilities, coaches and more time/money for sport
  • Elite sports universities linked to the English Institute of Sport e.g Loughborough/Bath
  • Increased number of sports science and PE courses/ sports academies
  • PE still a part of the national curriculum as complusory PE increases participation
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21st Century Britain

Availability of time (2000-2099):

  • Upper/middle class have more time for sport
  • Lower class working longer hours so have less time for sport
  • Flexible working hours has increased participation in sport
  • Sports regularly played midweek/evenings
  • Floodlit facilities and longer opening hours for gyms has increased opportunity for sport e.g. 24 hour gyms
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21st Cenutry Britain

Availability of money (2000-2099):

  • Upper/middle class have more money to spend on sports participation and spectating e.g equestriansim
  • Global recession reduced the disposable income available for sport which links to reduced participation levels since 2012
  • Expensive memberships for golf clubs/gyms
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21st Century Britain

Transport (2000-2099):

  • Availability of transport increased with most households owning a car, some own 2, which has led to increased participation/ flexibility and spectators
  • Cheaper air fares has increased spectators abroad e.g 2018 World Cup in Russia
  • Availability of midweek European competitions e.g. Champions/Europe League
  • Reduced activity levels as more journeys taken by car than walking.
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21st Century Britain

Transport (2000-2099):

  • Availability of transport increased with most households owning a car, some own 2, which has led to increased participation/ flexibility and spectators
  • Cheaper air fares has increased spectators abroad e.g 2018 World Cup in Russia
  • Availability of midweek European competitions e.g. Champions/Europe League
  • Reduced activity levels as more journeys taken by car than walking.
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21st Century Britain

Globalisation of sport (2000-2099):

  • Process that involves sports as a worldwide business and features corporate brands, media coverage, officials, spectators and freedom of movement
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21st Century Britain

Globalisation of sport - media coverage (2000-2099):

  • Premier League e.g. £3bn Foreign TV rights for 2016-2019.
  • increased tech and social media available 24/7 all over the world
  • Increased revenue for merchandise sales in foreign markets
  • Changed the structure of sport to increase media appeal e.g. changes to kick off
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21st Century Britain

Globalisation of sport - Freedom of movement (2000-2099):

  • allows performers to cross countries in lots of different sports e.g. overseas players in football
  • Performers can move to different countries for training e.g. warm weather camps / sports tour
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21st Century Britain

Globalisation of sport - greater exposure of people to sport (2000-2099):

  • Sports competition taken to new markets e.g. Abu Dhabi F1
  • Global tours and competitions e.g. football preseason
  • Olympics and world cup moved to different countries
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