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ERIC Number: EJ868426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0560
Intercollegiate Athletics and Modeling Multiculturalism
Hirko, Scott
New Directions for Higher Education, n148 p91-100 Win 2009
Research about student athletes contends that participation enhances both learning and character development, including leadership, interpersonal skills, social self-esteem, discipline, personal health, motivation, dedication, and life lessons. Other research expresses concern about the cognitive outcomes of student athletes relative to nonathletes. However, there has been little discussion on how interracial interaction within intercollegiate athletics provides additional social and educational benefits to the athletes. Creating racially diverse and multicultural environments is an important outcome of higher education. In its landmark 2003 affirmative action decision in "Grutter v. Bollinger," the U.S. Supreme Court underscored the importance of this end, drawing on the vast literature on multicultural perceptions and social cognition. Athletics, in racially diverse activities such as football, basketball, and track and field, is one area at institutions where race is deemphasized. In this paper, the author uses social contact theory (Allport, 1954) and personalization (Miller and Brewer, 1984) to explore the interracial interaction that student athletes experience, suggesting that it offers a useful alternative in the multicultural education that improves understanding and reduces prejudice. The author argues that both the quality and the quantity of such interactions are necessary. Quality interracial interaction involves contact between races, leading to knowledge, acquaintance, and "reaching below the surface" in pursuit of common objectives. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A