Nine to five in the league: a sociological examination of the National Basketball Association
LE3 .A278 2023
Bachelor of Arts
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a career that is dreamt about and fantasized about by people across the world as a perfect career and a form of emancipation for the athletes. In reality, the NBA is a business, and the professional athletes are dually commodities and workers, tasked with creating a surplus profit for the owners. Athletes are alienated within, and often after their careers end. Using Gamal Abdel-Shehid and Nathan Kalman-Lamb’s reworking of Karl Marx’s theories of alienation, reserve army of labour, and commodity fetishism within professional sports, this thesis explores the troubles and torment that players are forced to go through within and after their careers. Owners and fans alike treat athletes in the NBA as commodities, not people who put extensive amount of time into their crafts. The NBA is a career that appears to stand outside the confines of capitalism, but when analyzed closer and from a sociological perspective, can be theorized as functioning no different than any other nine to five job.
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