ERIC Number: ED210248
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Are Children's Competitive Team Sports Socializing Agents for Corporate America?
Berlage, Gai Ingham
In a study of the similarities between childrens' competitive team sports and the typical corporate or business environment, two research questions were posed: (1) Does the structural organization of childrens' soccer and ice hockey organizations resemble that of American corporations?; and (2) Are the values of childrens' competitive sports similar to corporate values? Questionnaires were distributed to 222 Connecticut and New York fathers with 11 or 12 year old sons in soccer and ice hockey teams. Through observations and interviews, it was found that the structural organization of the childrens' ice hockey and soccer programs clearly resembled that of corporations. An organizational chart illustrated the hierarchies and divisions in a youth soccer program, and it was also found that the values stressed in competitive sports are similar to corporate values. The fathers selected teamwork as the most important sports attribute that would contribute to success in business. The importance of learning to be part of a team was a constant theme in the fathers' responses. Although some fathers expressed misgivings about the amount of politics in the team selection process and the inconveniences of complying with practice and travel schedules, most fathers had positive attitudes toward competitive youth sports. Those who have participated in competitive sports have an advantage over others who are not socialized in these values, skills, and attitudes. (FG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ice Hockey
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (2nd, Fort Worth, TX, November 12-15, 1981).