Influence Of Sports Activities On Boys ' Identity And Socialization Experience

Influence Of Sports Activities On Boys ' Identity And Socialization Experience

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The influence of sports activities on boys’ identity and socialization experience remains a major interest in gender studies today. Michael A. Messner wrote an article called Boyhood, Organized Sports, and the Construction of Masculinities. The article examines the way sports focus and define what it is to be a masculine, studies variation in sports’ influences across social classes, and depicts lessons sports participation impacts for relationships beyond sports. Each area Michael A. Messner examined directly relates to three key concepts of psychology theories. The concepts consist of observational learning (social learning), conformity, and social identity. The research methods in the article are also a major factor contributing to the success of addressing factors that influence masculinities.
The research conducted in the article started in 1983 and ranged to 1985. They interviewed thirty male former athletes. The former athletes age was from twenty-one to forty-eight years old. Each played either football, baseball, basketball, or track and must have been retired for at least five years. Fourteen of the interview subjects were African American, fourteen were Caucasian, and two were Hispanic. These individuals were not randomly selected, but range in terms of race and social class backgrounds. Finally, the subjects were divided into two separate comparison groups. Ten were high-status whites, and twenty were low status poor individuals.
The first concept is observational learning, also called social learning theory. This is simply leaning that occurs through observing the behavior of others. The article examines the way sports focus and define what it is to be masculine. Many interview subjects when asked why or how ...


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...icle by Michael A. Messner, Boyhood, Organized Sports, and the Construction of Masculinities, sex-graded activities such as organized sports structured by adults, provide context in which gender identities and separate gender cultures develop and come to appear natural. In actuality these skills are not natural, but are built by observational learning. Through this exposure lies the essence of all sports decisions through the subconscious mind. Higher socio-economic families have more opportunities than lower socio- economic families resulting in children conforming and adapting their own social identities based on opportunities and circumstances. Society’s standards create social identities and a perception that boys are to be physically strong, they are pushed by their families to win, and exhibit athletic skill resulting in the construction of masculinities.

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