Gamed by the System

Exploring Black Male Youths’ Motivation to Participate in Sports

in Boyhood Studies
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  • 1 Ohio State University faulk.30@buckeyemail.osu.edu
  • 2 Ohio State University bennett.460@osu.edu
  • 3 Ohio State University moore.1408@osu.edu
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ABSTRACT

Previous research contributes to our knowledge about young people’s motivation to participate in sports and athletic programs. In particular, scholarship has identified significant others (such as parents and peers) and internal drivers (for example, physical ability and skill, the desire to succeed, love of competition, etc.) as some of the forces that shape the involvement of young men in sports. The role of institutions and structures in influencing the decisions of young males to join sports, however, is neglected to some extent in the current literature. Given the history of race and gender marginalization relative to sports in the US, distinguishing an additional layer that influences motivations are important. Young black males face additional social pressures in society and in schools, in particular. In this article we suggest that schools use sports to control the behaviors and aid the character development of young black men.

Contributor Notes

Deborwah Faulk is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Ohio State University. E-mail: faulk.30@buckeyemail.osu.edu

Robert A. Bennett III, Ph.D., is the Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at Ohio State University. E-mail: bennett.460@osu.edu

James L. Moore III, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male and the EHE Distinguished Professor of Urban Education at Ohio State University. E-mail: moore.1408@osu.edu

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