Ch 10 How Americans Spend Their Leisure Time
Sports and American Value
The sports that are organized by a society generally reflect the basic values of that society and attempt to strengthen them in the minds and emotions of its people.
More social purpose
Main sports in US (football, basketball, and baseball)
Organized sports are as an in inspiring example of equality of opportunity in action (different races, gender, and economic backgrounds)
Harry Edwards: “a laboratory in which young men, regardless of social class, can learn the advantages and rewards of a competitive system.
Women’s sports have grown in popularity.
The American ideal of competition is also at the very heart of organized sports in the US.
Learning how to win in sports help develop the habits necessary to compete successfully in later life.
The competitive ethic taught in sports must be learned and ingrained in youth for the future success of American business and military efforts.
Hard work (hustle, persistence, or never quitting) and physical courage (being tough, or having guts)
The traditional American values are taught to young people that organized sports have become a mixture of patriotism and national pride on the one hand with religious ideas and symbols on the other
Billy Graham: “The Bible says leisure and lying around are morally dangerous. Sports keep us busy. There are probably more really committed Christians in sports, both collegiate and professional, than in any other occupation in America.”
Competition Carried to an Extreme?
An excessive desire to win in sports can weaken rather than strengthen traditional American values
The idea of “winning is the only thing”
The idea weakens other important things like fair play, following the rules, and behaving with dignity when one is defeated
A tradition of honorable defeat in American sports
(Sociologist) Harry Edward: “The all-important significance of winning is known, but...