KIN 161 Final Exam
Youth Leisure Sport and Culture
Coakley, J. Donnely, P.
Social Changes Related to the Growth of Organized Youth Sports
increase in families with both parents working outside the home
new definitions of what it means to be a “good parent”
growing belief that informal activities provide occasion for kids to get into trouble
growing belief that the world is a dangerous place for children
Problems in AdultOrganized Youth Sports Michael Smith
Four assumption dominated children’s organized programs in early 1970’s,
(Smith, 1975) however, many persist today…
Assumption #1: children play sports to entertain adults
Assumption #2: games and sports for children must be organized and controlled
by adults if they are to be of real value
Assumption #3: children are miniature adults
Assumption #4: the real value of sport lies in learning to be a winner – there are
winners and losers in life and sports can help your children to end up in the right
Widespread concerns about eating disorders and injuries have had some effect on
gymnastics where a range of body types is now apparent in international competition.
Different Youth Sport Experiences
informal, playercontrolled sports
formal, adultcontrolled sports
Major Trends in Youth Sport Today
organized programs have become increasingly privatized
organized programs increasingly emphasize the “performance ethic”
increased parental involvement and concern
increasing culture of caution surrounding youth sports and physical activity
increased participation in “alternative sports”
Formal Sports Emphasize
systemic guidance by adults
status and outcomes
relationships with authority figures
learning rules and strategies
rulegoverned teamwork & achievement
Informal Sports Emphasize
interpersonal & decisionmaking skills
improvisation problem solving
Recommendations for Changing Informal & Alternative Sports
make play spaces more safe and accessible to as many children as possible
provide indirect guidance without being controlling
treat these sports as worthwhile sites for facing challenges and developing
Recommendations for Changing Organized Sports
increase personal involvement
facilitate close scores and realistic challenges
facilitate friendship formation and maintenance
Coaching Education Programs
are useful when the teach coaches to: deal with children responsibly and organize
practices and teach skills
are a problem when they foster a “technoscience” approach to controlling
children, creating coaches who are “sports efficiency experts” often does not
contribute to overall childhood development
When are children ready to play organized sports?
prior to age 12, many children do not have the ability to fully understand
competitive team sports
children must learn how to cooperate before they can learn how to compete
team sports require the ability to see the world through the eyes of others
Adaptations are increasingly being made for younger children. These 4 and 5 year olds
are more interested in running around and kicking the ball somewhere, even it it’s in the
What are the dynamics of family relationships in connection with organized youth sports?
sports have the potential to bring families together
being together does not always mean that close communication occurs
How do social factors influence youth sport experiences?
What are the primary benefits of adultcontrolled formal youth sport programs?
How could formal youth sport be improved?
Gender and Sexuality
Pronger, B. Lenskyj.
Hegemony – “is the process through which ideologies become materialized through
everyday experiences of people: how ideologies are internalized, struggled over,
negotiated, opposed, and lived out” (Beal, 253).
The Social Construction of Gender
Australian sociologist Robert Connel writes, “Gender means practice organized in
terms of or in relation to the reproductive division of people into male and
female” (1997, 31).
Gender has 5 key features:
gender is not natural but is socially constructed and varies across time and place
gender is a binary categorization (man/woman)
gender is relational
gender is based on structural relations of inequality gender is a linking concept
“gender is more than skin deep, it gets inside the body; that engendering can be so
powerful as to dictate how we walk, sit, stand, move our facial muscles and carry
out parcel…(Roberts, 2002, 324325).
Gender is one of the fundamental organizing principles of social life
Gender norms are reproduced and challenged in sports
A twocategory gender classification system is the foundation for defining gender
in our society.
Hegemonic masculinity: approved brand of cultural/ societal masculinity
Emphasized femininity excessive feminine features and roles
Performing Gender Correctly
in hegemonic terms, sexuality and gender are supposed to correspond with sex.
o E.g. male +masculine + heterosexual = normal (gender logic)
o What happens when there is a disruption in this formula? Gender crime
Strategies to Prevent Gender Crime
For female athletes: downplaying masculinity and strength, heterosexualization of
image via soft porn images, makeup and elaborate hairstyle, costume
Reading the Female Athletic Body
Helen Lenskyi states, “As the dominant sex, men rewarded – and continue to