ERIC Number: ED430290
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
An Overlooked Role of High School Athletics: The Formation of Social Capital through Parent Involvement.
Fritch, Wayne S.
This paper describes the positive value of high-school athletics in the formation of social capital. Social capital is described as the resources available to actors that result from their interaction within a social network. Athletics provide many opportunities for parent-to-parent and parent-to-school personal interactions that have the potential of benefiting all within the school community. To secure data for this study, a multiple case-study approach was chosen. Three schools--one Catholic, one religious non-Catholic school, and one public school, all of which were relatively close in proximity--were selected for the study. Multiple sources of data were utilized, including school documents, interviews with key informants, faculty interviews or focus groups, parent surveys, aggregate student-achievement scores, and observer notes. The interview data from all three schools indicated that the sports programs were important in bringing parents onto campus for an event in which they could interact. This interaction is often face-to-face, sustained, and frequent enough (sports fund raisers, sports banquets, sports events) to allow for the formation of social capital. The social capital thus generated by this interaction becomes a valuable resource for all within the school community. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).