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The popularity of Volleyball has increased dramatically over past years. This is a result of commodification. Commodification is the process of turning something into a commodity that can be bought and sold. Over the past 20 years, Volleyball has evolved from a simple, fun and recreational sport to a more appealing, more sexualized version, beach volleyball. As a result of this evolution, beach volleyball has received a vast improvement in popularity, especially amongst a male audience. The intent of this essay is to examine the sport of beach volleyball and explain why the individuals, and the sport itself, have evolved throughout the years. Volleyball's transformation into beach volleyball is a positive step forward for the sport in terms of media attention. To achieve this step the sport has undergone various changes in factors including: voyeurism, hegemony, symbolic glorification, using sport as a product, socialization and the agents of socialization. The first 'sub step' beach volleyball took to achieve its higher social status was its use as a product. Beach volleyball would not be where it is today socially, without the implement of commodification or the act of making it a product. Beach volleyball has become subject to the familiar term 'sex sells'. The women that play beach volleyball have to wear bikinis and they have to posses a level of attractiveness. This is mainly used to attract a greater audience; a high percent of that audience is male. Also, there are specifications in place for the women to have a minimum waist band width. The creators of this game have used exploitation or 'sex-ploitation' to enhance the media coverage of volleyball, but do these changes of volleyball for a media spectacle detract from the game of volleyball? Voyeurism is sexual gratification that is obtained by looking at sexual objects or situations. This is exactly what has happened to the sport. Males are the largest consumers of sport and are therefore the target audience. It is doubted that the stereotypical male watches women's beach volleyball for the sport itself, they prefer to 'watch the players'. Women's beach volleyball has attracted a great deal of male interest purely because of the fact the women are wearing revealing clothes. The media coverage that beach volleyball has achieved detracts from the main spectacle and focuses on the sexual aspect of the game. This can also be a positive point as it has overthrown the male hegemonic dominance within the sport. The sexual nature of women's beach volleyball has ceased the male hegemonic dominance of the sport. Now that the 'sex-ploited' version of volleyball has grabbed a greater audience, it is mainly focussed on the female players. The male competition is does not draw as much attention as the female one. As much as the uniforms appeal to a greater audience, beach volleyball glorifies a more sexually attractive body, in both males and females, than one that is 'not'. Beach volleyball requires its players to have a symbolically glorified body type, usually that of an attractive build, in order for them to participate in the sport, this however posses a problem for the women and men that are considered unattractive or do not align with the symbolic body image. Beach volleyball glorifies an attractive body to participate in the game. The aim of this specification is to ultimately gain media attention. The major downfall in this plan is that the players considered unattractive will not have a chance to partake in the game. For example: an athlete that is an attractive, intermediate beach volleyball player will get selected over an unattractive, autonomous player purely because of symbolic glorification. This seems unjust and judgmental; however, why does society allow this form of exploitation to exist in an international and Olympic sport? Socialization and it's 'agents' are the reason for the allowed transformation of volleyball into beach volleyball. Society as a whole has been promoted by the media to allow the use of voyeurism in a sport in order to raise its social status. The media spreads the message 'sex sells' and unpopular sports use this message to promote it's status and to gain a larger audience; beach volleyball is a prime example. It has used factors of change such as: voyeurism, hegemony, symbolic glorification, commodification, socialization and the agents of socialization to promote a larger audience and excel its status amongst the sporting community. The intent of this essay was to examine the sport of beach volleyball and explain why the individuals, and the sport itself, have evolved throughout the years. This essay has successfully outlined how and why volleyball has undergone a dramatic change into beach volleyball and its positive step forward in the sporting hierarchy. It has overthrown the male hegemonic dominance seen in most sports, gained a much larger media attention and has climbed the ranks in the sporting community; and it's only itself to thank.
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The Commodification of Volleyball
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The Commodification Of Volleyball

Words: 827    Pages: 3    Paragraphs: 7    Sentences: 40    Read Time: 03:00
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              The popularity of Volleyball has increased dramatically over past years. This is a result of commodification. Commodification is the process of turning something into a commodity that can be bought and sold. Over the past 20 years, Volleyball has evolved from a simple, fun and recreational sport to a more appealing, more sexualized version, beach volleyball. As a result of this evolution, beach volleyball has received a vast improvement in popularity, especially amongst a male audience. The intent of this essay is to examine the sport of beach volleyball and explain why the individuals, and the sport itself, have evolved throughout the years. Volleyball's transformation into beach volleyball is a positive step forward for the sport in terms of media attention. To achieve this step the sport has undergone various changes in factors including: voyeurism, hegemony, symbolic glorification, using sport as a product, socialization and the agents of socialization. The first 'sub step' beach volleyball took to achieve its higher social status was its use as a product.
             
             
              Beach volleyball would not be where it is today socially, without the implement of commodification or the act of making it a product. Beach volleyball has become subject to the familiar term 'sex sells'. The women that play beach volleyball have to wear bikinis and they have to posses a level of attractiveness. This is mainly used to attract a greater audience; a high percent of that audience is male. Also, there are specifications in place for the women to have a minimum waist band width. The creators of this game have used exploitation or 'sex-ploitation' to enhance the media coverage of volleyball, but do these changes of volleyball for a media spectacle detract from the game of volleyball?
              Voyeurism is sexual gratification that is obtained by looking at sexual objects or situations. This is exactly what has happened to the sport. Males are the largest consumers of sport and are therefore the target audience. It is doubted that the stereotypical male watches women's beach volleyball for the sport itself, they prefer to 'watch the players'. Women's beach volleyball has attracted a great deal of male interest purely because of the fact the women are wearing revealing clothes. The media coverage that beach volleyball has achieved detracts from the main spectacle and focuses on the sexual aspect of the game. This can also be a positive point as it has overthrown the male hegemonic dominance within the sport.
             
              The sexual nature of women's beach volleyball has ceased the male hegemonic dominance of the sport. Now that the 'sex-ploited' version of volleyball has grabbed a greater audience, it is mainly focussed on the female players. The male competition is does not draw as much attention as the female one. As much as the uniforms appeal to a greater audience, beach volleyball glorifies a more sexually attractive body, in both males and females, than one that is 'not'.
             
              Beach volleyball requires its players to have a symbolically glorified body type, usually that of an attractive build, in order for them to participate in the sport, this however posses a problem for the women and men that are considered unattractive or do not align with the symbolic body image. Beach volleyball glorifies an attractive body to participate in the game. The aim of this specification is to ultimately gain media attention. The major downfall in this plan is that the players considered unattractive will not have a chance to partake in the game. For example: an athlete that is an attractive, intermediate beach volleyball player will get selected over an unattractive, autonomous player purely because of symbolic glorification. This seems unjust and judgmental; however, why does society allow this form of exploitation to exist in an international and Olympic sport?
             
              Socialization and it's 'agents' are the reason for the allowed transformation of volleyball into beach volleyball. Society as a whole has been promoted by the media to allow the use of voyeurism in a sport in order to raise its social status. The media spreads the message 'sex sells' and unpopular sports use this message to promote it's status and to gain a larger audience; beach volleyball is a prime example.
              It has used factors of change such as: voyeurism, hegemony, symbolic glorification, commodification, socialization and the agents of socialization to promote a larger audience and excel its status amongst the sporting community. The intent of this essay was to examine the sport of beach volleyball and explain why the individuals, and the sport itself, have evolved throughout the years. This essay has successfully outlined how and why volleyball has undergone a dramatic change into beach volleyball and its positive step forward in the sporting hierarchy. It has overthrown the male hegemonic dominance seen in most sports, gained a much larger media attention and has climbed the ranks in the sporting community; and it's only itself to thank.
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