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Sports as Social Studies

Part 3: History and Cultures
  • History: Every sport has a history of some sort. Passionate fans remember lots of their favorite sport's history. Baseball especially has a long history, full of amazing feats and a whole lot of numbers. Many people can remember the last time the Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl (1996) a lot better than they can when the Constitution came into being (1781).
  • Cultures: Sports often reflect the culture of the countries in which they are played. Countries like Kenya, with their wide open spaces and their culture that emphasizes walking and running, produce excellent long-distance runners, moreso than any other country.
  • Archaeology: We can even find sports in archaeology. An example of this is archaeological evidence of the ancient ball games that the Mayas played in which they tried to throw a ball through a ring. Sound familiar? We now call something just like it basketball.

In many ways, sports define a society. They show what people are interested in watching other people do and what they will pay to see. They show how people can make a living by being athletic and entertaining other people. They give people ways to test their athletic skill against other people. Most of all, they give people something to focus on and follow that is a sort of release from the weighty cares of everyday life.

First page > The Importance of Sports > Page 1, 2, 3   

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