Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Play as Competition, Sociology of
From a very early age, play has a central role in human development. Children play for the sake of playing, but play also serves the purpose of helping individuals explore their environment. As children grow older, they are socialized and taught which forms of play are more appropriate and more desirable by adults, institutions, schools, and society in general. One of these forms of play involves organized play and competition. Currently, our society puts great emphasis on competition. This, however, does not necessarily mean that everyone agrees on the benefits of competition. To fully understand play as competition, we must take into account the historical context, with its respective social conditions. Individuals are heavily influenced by the way our society defines play as competition, and individuals also, to some extent, influence the way play is organized. Consequently, the process of internalizing and valuing play as competition is influenced by both ...