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Gender is a huge component on todays modern sports. Womens history in sports, from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century, was based on the supposition that women are indeed different from men; and have different experiences than men. “Sports were fashioned by the joint physical and social values of the workplace; masculine identification came from two places either home or work” (Susan J. Bandy). Sports brought a sense of masculinity of molding boys into men. To scholars and fans alike feminist analysis of sport and frameworks of an inclusive, relational nature was based on sexual difference. The concerns were about women exercise, physical competence and the medical line of work because the seeming thoughts about women and sports were that sports was out of women nature. By 1970s international studies began looking at the contribution of women in sport in various historical stages including ancient Greece and the age of the Renaissance. the late 20th century points out a turning point, before this time most thoughts were based and addressed on the nature of the relationship among sport, men and the gender order and the way which sport has been used in the edifice of masculinity as oppressive of women and exploitive of men. “Title IX legislation in 1972 increase in female participation in sports in the USA” (Pope). Title IX prohibited discriminatory policies and opened the way for an increase in sports programs offered to women at all levels of the educational system.
Like gender, race has played a central part of sports in colonialism; race had an intricate rapport to the extension of European empires. “In colonial societies blacks were primarily exposed to diverse sports on plantations, all were largely debarred from sports” (John Nauright and David K. Wiggins). Black athletes were excluded from partaking in most highly organized sports globally and were forced to institute their own teams and leagues. Elites in western society set themselves at a distance from the mass by forming restricted private clubs and competitions and defining what a ‘sportsman’ was in creating amateur sport. Second racial thoughts hardened due to the separating of colonies and it was acceptable on western methodical beliefs of white superiority over others; as well as the white man’s burden of conveying civilization to darker races. Thirdly legal decisions toughened racial segregation then fourthly discrete physical characteristics were associated with the perception in physicality amid races in nature. Race was a factor outside the US; “Cricket clubs in Trinidad and Barbados were segregated according to race and within racial categories by class as well” (Alan Gregor Cobley). Chappell states that “British naval officers introduced cricket in 1806” and “the first cricket club was established by English residents in 1839”; these clubs were planned to be exclusive to the upper class and welcomed just the ‘selected’ white males. Soccer was passionately assimilated while cricket was only played by the British populace. After the British brought in soccer, it became the nationalized sport in several Latin American countries. The first game ever played was in 1867 in Argentina, its magnetism amplified by 1891; there were enough clubs to found a league in Argentina. Just as soccer was wanted in South America, so was baseball in the rest of the world particularly Central America, Caribbean islands and Japan.
After the end of colonialism, sports had a major impact and it immediately assisted countries in the era of imperialism. Gems states that” baseball was introduced through residential boarding schools, in which, conscripted children were indoctrinated with WASP (white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant) culture; including the game of baseball”. By the 1840s missionaries and military personal went to Hawai’i started instituting judicial, commercial, and capitalist systems to the indigenous population, but by 1890 the foreigners owned 75 percent of the islands’ acreage, much of them were plantations where baseball provide a social-control system for a broad-based labor force. The United States expanded its borders by invasion in the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, and by acquiring Alaska from Russia in 1867. The U.S. Congress rejected President Grant’s effort to seize the Dominican Republic in 1870; however they could not discontinue the cultural flow of baseball. Gem says that “Cuban boys, sent to school in the U.S., came back with bats and balls in the 1860s, and Cubans soon developed an infatuation for the game”. The same happened to those boys that were Dominican and the Puerto Rican in the 1890s. American refugees brought baseball to China as early as 1863. It was the military personnel and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) that endorsed this modern Western game throughout the area thereafter. “Just as soccer had values present for Latinos so did sports for Japan it proved to be a sensible substitute to the samurai code of discipline, self-sacrifice, and deference to authority” (Pope). Professional baseball fueled the ambition of many who lack the means and socioeconomic class to gain an education, a learned profession, and ensuing respect. Professional athletes earned their salaries through physical ability, independent of class relationship or admittance to higher education. Widespread gambling on ball games created a need for highly skilled athletes, regardless of class or color. Cuba offered such opportunities on its professional and company teams, and civic rivalries fostered competition for the best players.
When the era of imperialism ended, sports took a revolutionary turn via globalization. “Sports are subsumed within the broader exportation of popular culture, entertainment, fashion, music and etc” (Mark Dyreson). Since the 1930s America has triumph in corporate marketing on global sports worldwide; American corporations have deeply shaped global sport, chiefly the manner in which it is controlled, packaged and marketed. Since the 1990’s, globalization has surpass with the enhancement of technology and the approval of professional athletes in the Olympic Games. Nike with the marketing of Michael Jordan is a prime exemplar of how relations and marketing technologies of the post-industrial period, international corporations convey American styled sports culture (via celebrities and merchandise) to dictate the world in novel. The ascendancy of the 1992 USA Dream Team basketball squad has inspired foreign youth to take part in American sports while the 1994 World Soccer Cup led to the AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) to take the place of Little League. Today, players from across the world pack American sports leagues and European soccer clubs. “These games are also broadcasted on national television and the Internet which also began the globalization of sports” (Pope). The NBA and MLB are filled with players that live in countries outside of the US; for instance the arrival of Yao Ming added thirty million Houston Rockets fans to a team that only has one million viewers in the US currently. The future of sports lies in the alteration from continental markets to international markets. Americans in the past five years have been seen regularly wearing Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona jerseys and Lakers, Heat fans can be found in China. In the Globalization of Baseball: A Latin American Perspective article, the author explains and shows how Latin American children and their parents are mistreated by scouts and agents that are interested in finding Latino talent in countries like Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. As the author suggests, many of these scouts are only “exploiting naÃ¯ve, poor children and their families to get a piece of any signing bonus that may come along”. The MLB has done very little to stop this practice from happening because they can sign very talented Latino players for cheap. As noted in the article, the “MLB knows and has known for a long time that problems exist; but to date, it prefers the current system because it produces cheaper talent”. Therefore, we can see that Latino children are treated as commodities, like “pieces of exported fruit”.
As a result, sports played a major factor in colonialism, imperialism and globalization. Sports contributed in the history of colonialism with spreading the ideology and questioning of race and gender, imperialism by distributing ones morals and values to expand empires, and globalization exploiting athletes and increasing revenue through consumer markets. From the late 19th century through today sports have transitioned from being played by just the elites, to ‘fair play’ for everyone, then for people being paid for their elite skillfulness to now transitioning from fans to consumer; investing into players turning them into commodity. Sports between periods have influenced and revolutionized today’s modern sports.
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