Saturday, October 12, 2019

American Culture Essay -- Sports Baseball Cultural Essays

American Culture It’s game six of the American League Championship Series. I’m sitting in front of a bunch of baseball-crazed fanatics wetting their pants, because the Red Sox have just pulled ahead nine to six in the ninth inning. â€Å"Go Sox!† â€Å"Yankees suck!† â€Å"Dude, toss me another brewskie.† Americans are fans at heart. We root for the home team, wear their colors, jump up and down following a great play, and threaten the television after an absurd call. Sports have proven to be an integral part in the creation of community identity throughout the last half of the century. Furthermore, American sports both reflect and shape our cultural ideas. They are rarely considered â€Å"just a game.† Sports are packed with several meanings: they are displays of patriotism, consumer spectacles and even morality lessons. By observing sports and their impact on American society, we can learn much about consumerism, political developments (both domestic and in ternational), racial relations, social classes, equality for women, and of course, community identity, including the condition of our cities. Since the 1950s, American sports are one of the most important institutions for us to raise and work through questions of race, gender, and class. The corporations who control the media coverage of sports tailor their coverage to Joe Six-Pack; and thus there is a lack of coverage of elitist sports such as water polo, tennis and sailing. Because of the media's target population, we are besieged with commercials for beer, automobiles, athletic shoes and deodorant. Our hard-earned dollars are rarely tempted to go towards healthy food items or prudent savings (light beer is not a healthy food). Gas-guzzling SUVs, beer, chips and dip are the consumables t... ... in your backyard or in the street, you can play hoops at any public school yard, you can bat a ball in any sandlot, but where do young people get experience in a pool or on a tennis court? Who can afford a round of golf? Tiger Woods is an enigma in a world of wealthy country clubs and green jackets. Indeed, American sports are a metaphor for American culture. When viewed through the lens of peanuts and beer, one gets a gooey, nostalgic, "take me out to the ball game" sensation. But you only need look below the surface to get a more disturbing view of some of our culture's most serious ills. Corporate control and gender, race and economic bias run rampant in our beloved sports arenas. And the latest barometer that measures the health of our sports culture is the fact that our heroes hit the front page not for their abilities, but for their sexual indiscretions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.