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Transcript of Figueroa's Framework
The concepts of equity, access and equality are difficult to define and understand. They present complex issues for discussion and provide individuals and society with significant challenges.
The framework developed by Professor Peter Figueroa has been a useful tool in the investigation of issues and ideas surrounding equity, access and equality
in exercise, sport and physical activity.
Many social factors directly or indirectly shape opinions and influence an individual’s decision to participate in physical activity. These factors change throughout an individual’s life.
For example, some children start playing sport because it is fun; others may join a sporting group because their older brother or sister plays that sport.
A new sporting complex may open nearby and provide a chance to try a new sport. Coaching clinics might inspire some people to give a sport a go.
Teachers can provide both positive and negative
sporting experiences. At school, peers can change adolescents’ attitudes about a sport that was previously
Even students who are talented at a particular sport may quit it because a sporting career is not realistic or because of the social expectations of their gender.
Work commitments, financial costs and equipment costs—such factors can have a negative effect on sports participation.
What is the Framework?
Why was it developed?
This framework can also be
applied to other aspects of sociology, including equity and access in sport.
1 cultural level
2 structural level
3 institutional level
4 interpersonal level
5 individual level.
It is important to remember that sports participation is a complex issue and that each person is affected
A simplistic response might say that only one level has affected an individual’s participation; a deeper analysis will reveal that factors from each of the five levels have played a role.
The framework is constructed across five separate levels (individual, interpersonal, institutional, structural and cultural) with each level strongly interconnected with the others.
Each specific level contributes
a role in shaping the adjoining levels.
It also indicates the different functions that each of us can play in creating or removing, reinforcing or
eliminating barriers, inequities and access in exercise, sport and physical activity.
We cannot overcome all barriers by simply acting at the individual level. Instead, all the different levels of the framework need to work cooperatively to effectively overcome these barriers and challenge the
inequities that exist.
THE FIVE LEVELS
The Individual Level
The individual level is involved with our own
attitudes, values and beliefs, particularly those related to stereotypes and prejudices.
The individual level encourages us to think critically about our
own perceptions of exercise, sport and physical activity.
What factors have been involved in shaping our own attitudes, values and beliefs? What factors have been important and influenced our own participation, access and opportunities in exercise, sport and physical activity?
The Interpersonal Level
The interpersonal level is concerned with our interactions with others, our relationships with peers and others, as well as our patterns of influence and how these might affect access and equity to exercise, sport and physical
At this level, our attitudes, values and beliefs about difference might be critically evaluated. Inequity through factors such as how we relate to our peers, and prejudices and stereotypes we might construct, as well
as discrimination and exclusion of particular groups could be considered.
The interpersonal level encourages us to think critically about our own relationships with our peers and their relationships with others.
We should consider the needs and interests of others and encourage a greater understanding of others’ differences.
The Institutional Level
The institutional level examines laws, patterns or rules within different agencies.
It is concerned with the ways in which organisations such as schools or clubs might operate to advantage ordisadvantage particular groups with specific needs, which are different from ‘mainstream’ groups.
These might include discriminatory rules or regulations,
such as dress codes, membership rights, fees charged or scheduling of facilities, which create inequalities among specific groups or marginalise or exclude some people.
The institutional level encourages organisations to think critically about their own rules, policies and procedures which may advantage or disadvantage specific groups who would like to be involved in exercise, sport and physical
activity at the institutional level.
The Structural Level
The structural level of Figueroa’s framework examines inequities within society on a much larger scale.
It examines how social status might impact on the types
and levels of participation by various groups within society.
At the structural level, the framework is concerned with the way in which society considers such factors
as race, gender or disability.
It also examines the way in which resources, rewards
and status are distributed to various sectors, and how the allocation of resources might impact on access and equity.
It examines the effects and impact of power
and relationships within society.
The structural level encourages us, as active members of society, to think critically about the distribution of power, resourcesand status that may advantage or disadvantage specific groups who would like to be involved in exercise, sport and physical activity at the structural level.
The Cultural Level
The cultural level is concerned with shared assumptions, beliefs and values about issues such as gender or race and socioeconomic status and how these issues might
affect access and equity to exercise, sport and physical activity.
This level of the framework requires critical analysis of cultural norms and values, and examines how diversity is recognised and treated.
These cultural norms, sometimes unknowingly, restrict or influence our perceptions and actions about involvement in exercise, sport and physical activity.
These frames of reference consist of many beliefs, assumptions, values and attitudes that are taken for granted and which are reflected in issues such as the globalisation of sport and the role of politics in sport,
as well as the impact of race and ethnicity on participation.
Figueroa's Framework applied!
Toragh Bright and Jharal Yow Yeh
Read: Sport specific
case-studies and how the F.F is applied to their sporting pathway
Consider Figure 8.4. (Class notes, P.3)
1 Suggest reasons why the five levels of Figueroa’s
framework have been depicted in this way.
2 Why do the levels decrease in size, from cultural to
1. Explain why Figueroa’s framework is a useful tool to analyse sport in society.
2. Read the following statements and: 1- agree or disagree, 2- • identify the relevant levels from Figueroa’s
framework, and 3 - • list the social aspects that make these statements diffi cult to solve.
a Problems in sport have steadily increased since more athletes turned professional.
b Parents are the real role models, not sports stars! Sports stars are just talented athletes and should not be placed on a pedestal for children to emulate.
c The easiest way to reduce obesity and inactivity is to provide more sporting facilities in each community.
d The media should provide equal coverage when representing male and female sport.
e Change can only occur when it begins at the cultural level.
3. Discuss how the following social determinants have infl uenced your opinions, beliefs andvalues.
• family • peers • school • gender • media • ethnicbackground.
Apply & Evaluate
Peter Figueroa, a sociologist, developed a framework to analyse racism within society, particularly to look
at how equity and access to society’s resources are affected by a person’s race.
Figueroa’s framework explored equity and access through five levels in society:
The levels look at all aspects of society, beginning with the ‘big picture’ of society (CULTURAL LEVEL) and working down to the individual (INDIVIDUAL LEVEL). They provide a starting point to analyse how Australian society affects Australian sporting
The level of Figueroa’s framework that has the greatest infl uence on an individual’s sports participation will vary.