Social Science Analysis Report: Children’s Socialization Into Sport



Sport experiences for young athletes are very diverse. It is a mistake to assume that all sports are
organized around the same goals and orientations, played in the same spirit, or defined in the
same way. At this time, the most dominant sport form in wealthy, postindustrial nations is
organized around the power and performance model. This model espouses the ideas of pushing
human limits, proving excellence through hard work and dedication, playing in pain or when
injured, meeting performance standards to make teams, enormous control from coaches and
administrators, and high levels of competition.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the pleasure and participation model. This model involves
connections among people, a spirit of personal enjoyment and growth, personal empowerment
through participation, inclusiveness, democratic decision-making, and collegial competition with
competitors defined as partners.
With this in mind, and based on your sports interests and career goals, discuss ways to preserve
and promote pleasure and sports participation in the U.S. today. Is this important to do in today’s
society, given the current rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles of many young people?

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