Many of us have seen “The Sandlot” and can recall our childhood summers filled with adventure, freedom and fun. We all believe there has been a shift away from free play to organized sports. Many people believe technology is one problem. The other is parent involvement. They are part of the problem, but they have a symbiotic relationship with the drive of children from free play to organized sports or no sport. My belief is that the technophile generation’s addiction to technology is a sign of a lack of parental involvement.
Sport sociology holds that sport is a reflection on society. Sport teaches many things, including coordination, fitness and coordination as well as how to follow rules and nationalism. A quick look at the sports sociological section of the sociocultural domain in sport sciences will show that I believe the shift from unorganized play to organized sport is an indication of our society’s current state and its desire for the future.
As with many aspects of our current situation, it is important to look back at key historical events that have had a profound impact on our present condition. The Industrial Revolution, which began in 1760, and the Great Depression that lasted from October 29, 1929 to World War II are the two most significant events of our time. Many great accomplishments were made by the industrial revolution, which led to more sunday999 jobs. This new job allowed people to strive for success and live the American Dream, which is the freedom to pursue one’s goals. In a very short period of time, technology advanced society and made the world more prosperous than it was ever been before. The invention and rapid growth of the radio, as well as the popularity of organized sports, occurred during this time. Now professional sports could be brought into your home. Many businesses collapsed in 1929’s stock market crash. Individuals lost their savings and suffered financial losses. People had to work harder in order to get less. During this period, children had to be content with what they had. Often it was easy. Children saw their parents working hard and hoped for the best. Children were encouraged to imagine and dream. This allowed for a lot of free play, with basic equipment such as sticks and sandlots. While their parents worked hard to supplement their family’s income, the kids dreamed of being able to play in “the big leagues.” This was the time when free play was paramount. It was easy and could be paid for with what was available.
Many of these children were drawn to the conflict in Europe, Asia and the Pacific at the beginning of World War II. As the world’s industries began to take pride in their nationality and support war efforts against a common goal, this was the end the Great Depression. The Depression was over and families began to rebound. They also began to become more wealthy. As the war progressed and the 20th century entered, families began to realize that there was always the possibility of another period of hardship and decided to ensure their children didn’t suffer the same fate. So began the effort to train and develop children at an early age for college, trade school or success in sports. The push started out simple. As time went on, the push became more difficult for each child to get an edge over their peers. Through their determination to see their children succeed, parents were the driving force. School was a time-consuming activity that required both school and home time for homework. Sport became an important part of the increased competition. Surprisingly, the TV was popularized in these times. These luxury items were available to families who became wealthy. Television and radio were now the main media for sports. In this time, legendary sports figures like Joe Dimaggio, Muhammed Ali, or Pele were brought into the homes and imaginations of the world. Children began to seek out heroes like Babe Ruth, and they were often compared to them.
The computer age began in the 1980s. Every person with a phone, tablet or computer began to have access to information. The world was experiencing a new level of prosperity. Parents were the children of those who grew up in the Great Depression and the aftermath. They wanted to give their children what was impossible. This often meant that both parents had to work outside of the home. This meant that working parents had to find safe places for their children after school and when they returned from work. In order to ensure their success, the parents enrolled their children in after-school or school sports programs.
After a long day at work, children often return home after school or afterschool. Parents were often too exhausted to interact with their children, so they turned to television to relax after a long day at work. The kids didn’t have the energy or time to go outside. They were told to do homework or practice when they had the time. Children were taught how to use technology in order to mimic their parents and learn from them.
The rise of organized sports and wealth created a new market for sports products. A kid can no longer be considered cool if he or she has a hand-me-down glove from their brother or dad. The commercialization of sports has led to a desire for the latest and best. Specialized equipment and facilities made it impossible for children to play the same sports they used to play with a stick or imaginary field.
How does this all tie together? Because they are so busy trying to succeed, parents are less involved in the lives of their children. Parents want their children to succeed. This is because of the new definitions of success and happiness. These success and happiness were defined by family and relationships at the start of the industrial revolution. Today, success is linked to money and position and happiness is tied to materialism.
Our society is shifting towards more regulation and less freedom. It is also moving towards more supervision in all aspects of our lives. This is evident in sports, which is just one example. As a result of society’s shift towards regulation and oversight, play has evolved into organized sports.
Here is a quick overview of how history has shaped sport and the role of sports in sociology. Although I am not saying that organized sport should be stopped, it is an important tool for society. The underlying principles of the shift from free to organized sport must be addressed.
Today’s kids are being taught that work is the only way to success and that sports should be controlled. As parents, we must take responsibility for our children and establish clear boundaries regarding the use of technology. We should also place a strong emphasis on happiness and not on money, job title, or material possessions.