Getting Started: Sports and Culture

Sports play an important role in culture. From the time of the chariot races and gladiator competitions in ancient Rome to present day with the International World Cup and Olympics, sports have historically shaped the way that people look at the world.

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Today many of us (students) have participated in a sport at one time or another. Many people say they love sports because it teaches them important values such as working together with a team, self discipline, and hard work. However sports teach us many other values like following the rules and respecting authority (like coaches and referees).

Besides playing sports, people also enjoy watching them. Fans are a big part of sports culture and many people around the world identify closely with a particular team or athlete.

For many of us sports are a part of every day life. And if you don’t play a sport or enjoy watching them then you probably hear about them all the time on the radio, TV, or from your relatives and friends.

Although we might like to think of sports as just a fun, care free part of our life it is important to consider how sports interact other aspects of our lives such as politics, racial identity, economics, and gender.

As you continue with this webquest I want you to consider…

How do Sports shape culture? How does culture shape sports?

For your first assignment I would like for you to answer the poll that I posted below. I would also like you to submit a short paragraph response answering the question shown above.



  1. In my opinion, sports can shape culture in many ways. For example today in the twenty-first century football in the U.S. is insanely an influence on daily lives, with all of the merchandise, the amount of money the NFL industry makes annually. In another sense culture can influence sports too. For instance if there were to be a horrible tragedy occur, many sports teams play for the cause.



  2. Sports shapes culture in that a sports event bring people together to watch their team play and often join in the unity of hoping their favorite team will win. Sports also can have a negative influence when people get far to invested in thoughts such as “this team and their fans are stupid” etc. Some people even get in fights or riots over trash talk or losses. Culture influences sports in that what people believe changes safety precautions and rules.



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