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Unformatted text preview: 404 Sociology of Sport Journal, 2009, 26, 404-424 © 2009 Human Kinetics, Inc. Soccer Fields of Cultural [Re]Production: Creating “Good Boys” in Suburban America Lisa Swanson Towson University Zwick and Andrews (1999) argued that suburban American soccer fields merit critical academic attention because they highlight the practices of a dominant class. To gain an understanding of this specific field of power and privilege, I employed a multifac- eted ethnographic approach to studying a group of upper-middle-class mothers whose children played youth soccer. I used Pierre Bourdieu’s (1984, 1993) sociological theories regarding the interplay between habitus and capital to analyze how the moth- ers shaped their sons’ youth sport experience to reproduce class status and social advantage in the next generation. Zwick et Andrews (1999) ont suggéré que les terrains de soccer des banlieues étatsu- niennes méritent notre attention critique puisqu’elles mettent en relief les pratiques d’une classe dominante. Pour obtenir une compréhension de ce champ spécifique de pouvoir et de privilège, j’ai utilisé une approche ethnographique multidimensionnelle pour étudier un groupe de mères de la classe moyenne supérieure dont les enfants jouent au soccer. J’ai utilisé les théories sociologiques de Pierre Bourdieu (1984, 1993) concernant l’interaction entre l’habitus et le capital pour analyser la façon dont les mères modulent l’expérience sportive de leurs fils et reproduisent le statut de classe et l’avantage social de la prochaine génération. As upper-middle-class Americans intensify their practices of consumption under the auspices of the contemporary suburban lifestyle, their children have been successfully folded into such practices. Worried about being “good parents,” suburban mothers and fathers work hard to make sure their children share in the commodity experiences of their peers (Andrews, 1999; Schor, 1998). In turn, it can be argued that children desire products that have high status so they can be like their peers. Parents use this peer pressure to justify the money they spend on their children. Schor noted that “what stands out about much of the recent spate of spending is its defensive character. Parents worry that their children need comput- ers and degrees from good colleges to avoid being left behind in the global econ- omy” (p. 19). Middle and upper-middle-class parents use concerns about the edu- cation and safety of their children to defend placing them in private schools. Schor The author is with Towson University, Kinesiology Department, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD, 21252; [email protected] Soccer Fields of Cultural [Re]Production 405 went on to explain, “education is only the most expensive of the ‘goods’ that make American parents feel a need to keep up. There are also costly extracurricular activities, such as lessons and sports teams” (p. 86). Rosenfeld and Wise (2000) described the investment made by middle-class parents to do the right thing by...
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This note was uploaded on 10/02/2011 for the course ARTS AND S 90:101:59 taught by Professor Markschuster during the Fall '10 term at Rutgers.
- Fall '10