Case study on the the socialisation of children into sport and physical activity

Essay by leap72 August 2004

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The purpose of this report is to verify how a single case reflects the background literature of Payne and Isaacs (1995), Haywood (1995) and McPherson and Brown (1988), on the factors identified as being important to the socialisation of children into sport and physical activity.

Throughout these readings, there were three major elements identified in the socialisation process, which lead individuals to learn about their societal role. These three elements are socialising agents, social situations and personal attributes.

Socialising agents are simply the people who play a role in influencing an individual's sport participation such as family, peers, teachers and coaches. "Parents were found to be a significant influence on the child's involvement in sport activities' (Payne & Isaacs 1995:47) Parents are the first to encourage or discourage a child's play activity or sport participation. Although, when children commence school, peers will often begin to have a stronger influence over their sporting choices.

(Payne & Isaacs 1995).

Coaches and teachers play a role in the socialisation process through the personal experiences they offer each individual. 'Teachers and coaches also must recognise the potential they have to turn their students away from sport or physical activity' (Haywood 1995:309). Positive experiences with coaches and teachers can stimulate learning however, bad experiences have an adverse affect and cause dropouts.

Social situations include the activities, which children play, and the environments in which they are played. These situations provide a source where individuals can gather information about society. Through these situations a person learns how to follow rules and develop the skills necessary to work together with others in group situations. Social situations are also the place where a person develops their personal attributes.

Personal attributes include the individual's perceived sports ability. This is their personal judgement of their capability, significance, success...