Essay Title: 

Sports and Society

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in social issues, social sciences

Sports and Society

a dynamic relationship

Sports have played a major role in human culture for thousands of years For the ancient Romans , sports were both a source of entertainment and a status symbol of the power of the empire . In Roman times , the winners were often lauded for their bravery , strength and skill . Losers , on the other hand , often suffered torture and death

Sports today are usually not the life and death epics they were in ancient times . In the age of omnipresent media , though , sports have become far more [banner_entry_middle]

important in our culture . The winners receive great benefits and stature . The losers suffer scorn from media , coaches and even parents . All of this plays out to worldwide audiences . The values displayed in sports always , to some degree , mirror those of the larger culture . Americans are hooked on sports . As a result , the values portrayed on sports are increasingly leading the values of society

Joan Ryan ‘s book Little Girls in Pretty Boxes shows what can happen when adult attitudes are thrust upon children in the form of relentless and even harmful training . In A Season in the Sun , Roger Kahn recalls what are seen as the purer days of baseball both competitively speaking and in terms of the relationships between players , teams and fans . Whether it was a purer time or not is an open question , but the values of the game reflect value changes in our society . Finally , David Remnick ‘s book King of the World shows how time changes values and perspectives . All three books address the values of image , self-sacrifice , compelling stories and winning

At their best , sports are healthy recreational activities that teach us important life lessons . At their worst , they promote unhealthy and dangerous behaviors . Whatever the case may be , sports provide a window into society worthy of research . The three books referenced here show the full spectrum of healthy to unhealthy social impact of sports Finding the exact degree to which one affects the other is analogous to answering the chicken or egg ‘ question . It can be said , at least that the relationship is symbiotic . The values present in culture reinforce and amplify cultural values , and vice versa . Therefore , to make meaningful change in one area probably means that the other will have to change as well

Growing up too Young : the Olympic Gymnast

The star quality of Olga Korbut in the 1972 Olympic Games vaulted a once obscure sport in to the living rooms of millions of young girls and their parents . Korbut was a new type of gymnast , very small and incredibly agile . A new trend was begun as every nation searched for the next athletic pixie . Nadia Comaneci , smaller and younger than Korbut continued the trend . The search for ever smaller and lighter girls naturally resulted in girls being recruited at younger and younger ages The image of youth and thinness became synonymous with winning

As Joan Ryan illustrates in Little Girls in Pretty Boxes (1995 ) very young girls… [banner_entry_footer]


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