ERIC Number: ED238976
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Sport and Social Mobility Research: The Role of Race.
Warfield, John L.
As this survey of the literature shows, the relationship between sports participation and the academic success which is expected to lead to material and social benefits is ambivalent and inconclusive. If sports participation does have an impact on academic goals, it does so only when coupled with a range of sociopersonal and cultural variables. Participating in organized athletics translates into upward social mobility only as the participant parlays sports achievement into social relationships and skills essential to upwardly mobile outcomes. Black athletes at both the high school and college levels do not use sports achievement in this way. Black high school athletes aspire to college without being academically and socially ready. College failure is often the consequence, when the demands of big-time sports and academic pressure converge on the poorly prepared students. White athletes capitalize more readily on their sports activity. Although more research is needed, race appears to influence the lack of social changes in the lives of young, black athletes. Athleticism seems insufficient to overcome the racist character of American institutions, including organized sports. At the college level, the black athlete seems to be exploited by the athletic experience rather than benefiting from it. Large numbers of black college athletes do not graduate in four years, and most never receive a degree. (CMG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented to the Annual Convention of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (68th, Detroit, MI, October 19-23, 1983).