Society’s Shift From Free Play to Sports

Most of us have seen the movie “The Sandlot” and remember growing up with summers filled with adventure and freedom. I think we all believe that there’s been a severe shift from free play to organized sport. Many of us believe that the one of the problems is technology and another is the two opposites of parent involvement (either too involved or lack of involvement). I think that they are not only the main problem but have a symbiotic relationship in the drive of kids from free play to organized sport or no sport. In fact, I believe that this technophile generation’s technology addiction is a warning sign of the lack of parent involvement.

One of the ideas of sport sociology is that sport is a representation of society. We also can agree that sport teaches many things including cultural values, 축구중계 coordination, fitness, competition, how to follow rules, and at times, nationalism and reinforces them through play. As a brief look over the sports sociological area of the sociocultural domain of sport sciences, I believe that the shift from free play to organized sport is a representation in our current society and its drive toward the future.

Just as with a lot of our current condition, we must look back to key points ever sold that have had immeasurable influence on today. In our time, the two major events is often the Industrial Wave from 1760 and the Great Depression from April 29, 1929 to the beginning of World War II. The industrial wave caused many great achievements to society, which resulted in more jobs. These new jobs allowed individuals to work towards success and truly embody the American Dream of the ability to achieve one’s dreams. From 1840 to the 1920’s, society became technologically advanced and the world became more prosperous than previously ordinary small amount of time. This time period saw the creation and growth of the radio and the popularization of organized sport. Professional sports could now be brought into the home. However, with the currency markets crash in April of 1929, many businesses failed and many individuals lost their family’s earned savings. People now had to work harder for less. Kids during this time period had to get by with what they had and often it was simple. Kids saw their parents work hard and hope for the future. Kids were left to dream and imagine. This resulted in much free play with simple sports equipment like branches and sandlots and whatever could be scrounged. Kids imagined of playing “the big leagues” while they worked to help supplement family income. Free play at this time was king as it was simple and might be made up with what was at hand.

The beginning of World War II saw many of these kids being drawn into the conflict in Europe and the Pacific. This became the end of the Great Depression as the world’s industries turned toward national pride and begun to support the war efforts against a common goal. Families begun to live through the Depression and begun to become affluent again. As time moved on through the war and further into the the twentieth Century, families realized that another time of trouble might happen and resolved to make sure their children did not have to suffer at the same level again. Thus began the push to develop and train children from a young age to go to college, gain a trade or reach your goals in sports. At first, the push was simple. However, as time developed, each child was pushed harder to gain the competitive edge over their peers. Parents were the driving force through their determination to help their children succeed. School became a time consumer that involved time at the school itself and at home with homework. As the competition increased, sport also became part of that edge. Interestingly enough, during this time period the world saw the growth of the television in homes. Families became affluent, enable them to purchase these luxury items. Sports was now in the house through both mediums of television and radio. This time schedule brought legendary sports heroes like Pele, Muhammed Ali, and Joe Dimaggio into the homes and imagination of the world. The heroes were compared to their predecessors like Babe Ruth and kids begun to wish to become them.

Jump ahead to the 1980’s and beyond and you will find the beginning of the computer age. Information begun to flow into the homes and hands of the individual with a computer, phone and pill. The world found itself in a new a lot of importance. The kids who grew up during and soon there after the great Depression were now the parents. They wanted to be able to give their children what these were unable to have. Often this meant both parents were working beyond the home. These working parents now had to find a safe place for their children to be after school until they got home from work. Coupled with the drive for child’s success, kids were put in sports programs at school or via an after-school program.

When children were home, it was following a long day at school and afterschool. The parents were too tired to engage with their children and often considered television to decompress from work. Kids now did not have the time or energy to play outside. When they had time, they would find out to either do homework or practice. When not preparing to succeed in the class room or field, kids were plied with technology and mimicked their parents by soaking themselves in technology and information exchange.

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