I’m not sure where I’m going with this post yet, its still just a forming hypothesis, but there seem to be some interesting elements coinciding which I would like to share.
Firstly the words “Deviance” and “Sport” which till now have seemed to me like contradictions, but the more I learn about sport the more they appear to belong together.
Just like “sex, drugs and rock and roll” in music, it seems that the most brilliant artists and athletes must live on the edge to perform beyond the conventional.
While “Deviance” may seem like a pejorative word, you could say that nonconformists are deviant, simply for choosing alternative unconventional ways to express their talent.
The book “Deviance and Social Control in Sport” by Michael Atkinson and Kevin Young also explains how some people are resistant to mainstream/institutional sport which they see as too limiting, exclusionary and authoritarian.
Then consider that innovation and new design are also often deviant, new paradigms are deviant , if nobody was deviant and strayed from convention by thinking divergently, maybe there could be no intentional change.
As a matter of fact the most disruptive brands have never taken the status quo too seriously.
“Skateboarding is Not a Crime”
Skateboarding is probably the best example of deviance in sport and from which an industry and small economy were created. Which isn’t a bad consequence for a “deviant” counter cultural movement that many less progressive people frowned once upon; sometimes putting up street signs forbidding skateboarding and even attaching obstacles to prevent skateboards from passing.
Although “Deviance” can seem a negative word because it means breaking the rules and typically hinders the functioning of a collective group, at the same time it also helps us to question social norms, or moral boundaries and introduce progress.
Ultimately its Liberating!