ERIC Number: EJ725392
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 11
Sports History as a Vehicle for Social and Cultural Understanding in American History
Social Studies, v96 n3 p118 May-Jun 2005
The United States prides itself on many things, but few are more prominent and visible than success at a sport, either locally, nationally, or internationally. Local sports are often a unifying factor in communities, and instances of success are the stuff of both fact and fiction. The 2001 Little League World Series highlighted the Rolando Paulino team and its largely immigrant players from a community that lionized them; later, the team was smeared by scandal. High school football in Texas or Ohio is often something that an entire community embraces. The movie Hoosiers was a fictionalized account of the success of a school in Milan. Indiana, in the 1954 Indiana State High School Basketball Tournament. These are readily recognized, but not unusual, examples of the prominent role that sports plays in local communities. National college football rankings spur alumni to support their alma maters; few school events provide such positive, or sometimes negative, publicity and stimulate such a flow of dollars as a highly successful football or basketball team. The most recognizable face in the world is that of basketball player Michael Jordan. The study of sports in American history is the story of great American themes--racism, sexism, responses to war, demagoguery, sudden economic success, immigration, urban growth, community life, advances in transportation, media hype, and so forth.
Descriptors: United States History, Athletics, Athletes, Cultural Awareness, Social Studies, Cultural Pluralism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States