Post 5 VCU Basketball Structure & Culture


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VCU Men’s Basketball Team 2018-2019


One thing that I think gets ignored when discussing Culture, Structure and agenicies are sports. Many teams have a certain culture that they go by and specific structures that they abide by. I chose to talk about the VCU Men’s basketball team and their structures, because I am around them 24/7. I thought this was a great example of defining the complex definition of structures. “Structures must not be con- ceptualized as simply placing constraints on human agency, but as en- abling (Giddens 1976, p. 161). This conception of human agents as “knowledgeable and “enabled” implies that those agents are capable of putting their structurally formed capacities to work in creative or innovative ways” I thought this was an important quoted, because this is exactly what this team is, it’s not a team where the head coach is placing constraints on certain players, he allows the players to have their freedom with their on the court abilities. Now this does not mean that he is just out there letting them do what they want, there are still structures. As long as they have capability of creating their own move on a defender then he does not mind, but if he knows you are not capable of doing that then that’s when all hell breaks loose. I feel like that’s what Sewell was arguing in the paper that there are structures, but that doesn’t mean that are constraints as long as the person is capable of being and creative and stuff then it opens a more comfortable structure.


Also you look at a basketball team they have a certain Culture. “In conceiving of culture in this way, I argue that social structure consists of two central, interconnected elements: systems of social relations and systems of meaning.” (Pg. 65). This is basically saying that social relations are the relation ships and the system of meaning is the belief. With this basketball team the coaches build a relationship with the players, and there obviously roles on the team. For instance you have your starters, your reserves, then your scrubs. There are many roles in this culture, but everyone should be listening to one dominant voice, which is the head coach. Then there is the system of meaning, and with this basketball team is basically doing what you are doing for the person next to you and for those that have got them where they are today. You can say that the culture is appreciation. This team is nothing without appreciation and that is what they truly believe in, from the head coach to the managers of the team, nothing but appreciation.





(A Theory of Structure: Duality, Agency, and Transformation)


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