Sport & Society

Sport & Society




Sports have been a fundamental part of the human society. Indeed, sports play more or less the same roles as other forms of entertainment, including educating and entertaining individuals. Recent times have seen an increase in the interest of scholars in sports as an educative tool. It, however, goes without saying that there are variations in the kind of sports that prevalent in different parts of the world. Nevertheless, soccer seems to be a favorite of varied communities and societies in the world. Indeed, I have been a fan of the game and an ardent player since my days as a kid in China. Upon moving to the United States, the game continued being a fundamental part of my life, with my interest continuously growing in the game.

However, it seems that the game, in the United States is used as a way of conditioning members of a certain social class by his or her economic or cultural class. This comes as the initial step that individuals in a certain social class have to take in the process of the embodiment, as well as production of the social class’ perception, not to mention the formation of the class’ lifestyle. Of course, the main role that the game plays in the individuals revolves around the development of social and physical capital. This is especially considering that a large number of soccer players come from a long line of soccer players, where their parents were recognized soccer players in their times. In essence, the capital that is passed onto the individuals by their families, a large number of players came with habits that were in line with the habits of the schools, as well as the larger soccer community (Swanson, 2006). This would, in turn, assist the soccer players in gaining social capital, as well as enhance their performance in the educational institutions.

In addition, I realized that soccer was primarily frequented by men that already had an established financial background. These were the only individuals that could survive in the overly hectic and competitive environment that required intense exercises and rigorous training regimens. It, therefore, goes without saying that the only successful individuals in the game are individuals that have a relatively stable financial background

As much as I was primarily pushed to taking up soccer in the United States by my deep liking and passion for it, I must admit that my guardians also pushed me to it as they found it quite appropriate for suburban youths especially in comparison with the perceived behavior and values that other sports seem to espouse. Indeed, it is noted that other games such as rugby and boxing seem to be a bit rough (Swanson, 2006). As much as all of these games seem to promote competitiveness, rugby and boxing seem to be a bit too violent, in which case they would not be safe for the kids. Soccer, on the other hand, comes as the appropriate type of corporeal aesthetic for suburban kids especially in the middle class, especially considering that it lays emphasis on teamwork, competition, as well as achievement, while also offering a safe after-school activity. It is worth noting that the game is primarily liked by the upper class, which states that, as much as soccer demands a lot of energy (in which case it would fit the work class’ expectations pertaining to the body in sport), the game cannot be seen as dangerous, thanks to the widespread belief that it is deficient of any harsh physical contact between the opponents (Swanson, 2006). This makes it extremely appropriate for the upper middle class individuals, who deem it as an appropriate bodily practice.

However, there are varied issues both within and outside the soccer game that would have led me to a different sport. As stated earlier, individuals within the game have certain cultural and social behaviors. They seem to operate within fundamentally laid out rules, in which case they see individuals that gain interest in the game later on in life as outsiders. Considering that I had just moved in from China, I was extremely interested in making as many friends as possible, in which case the game presented me with an appropriate opportunity. However, the already established soccer players in the teams seemed to view me with contempt, and were a bit protective of the game. Indeed, there are instances where individuals that are worse off than me as far as soccer playing skills are concerned would be picked to play in matches, simply because they had been in the team for longer periods. This made me feel frustrated, and could have sent me to the path of a completely different game, preferably table tennis.

As much as I appreciated the loyalty the individuals showed, choosing players by merit would have resulted in increased satisfaction and would have enhanced my capacity to practice more and be a better player. Indeed, this would have allowed for increased competitiveness and teamwork.


Swanson, L (2006). Soccer Fields of Cultural [Re]Production: Creating “Good Boys” in Suburban America. Sociology of Sport Journal, 26, 404-424

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