Social Factors Of Sports In Gerald Graff Hidden Intellectualism

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In many academic institutions a hierarchy is created based on unspoken rules. Students may gain access to the top of the food chain in school by having expensive clothes, cars, or by being apart of the “right” sports teams or clique. This social construct, which I have experienced first hand at numerous schools, limits the influence students have over their own self image. Through rivalry and exclusion, students must choose a parochial identity rather than developing their personality from cumulative experience. Too easily can one student be considered a jock or a nerd, and rarely do these two groups find mutual ground through academics. As students with little knowledge of the mechanics of the “real world” we had a narrow view on education, …show more content…
In the excerpt “Hidden Intellectualism” Gerald Graff, professor of English and education at the University of Illinois in Chicago, aims to define the way in which he believes schools are failing …show more content…
“Sports...is seriously underestimated by educators, who see sports as competing with academic development rather than a route to it.” As I described, in my experience sports in my school did compete with academic development as did a variety of other social factors. I would suggest that if sports are to be a part of a well rounded education, then athletics should be optional to all students, not just the select few. It is no wonder introductory education would be socially divided, and students marginalized when at its core, the structure is flawed. Graff asserts that “the sports world was more compelling than school because it was more intellectual than school, not less.” (Graff 267) Likely the most weighted and opinionated statement made in “Hidden Intelligence”, Graff defends this stance stating, “street smarts beat out book smarts ... because they satisfy the thirst more thoroughly than school culture, which seems pale and unreal.”(Graff 268) I would say the issue then is not street smarts or conventional intelligence, but rather “school culture” which excludes the nonconventional and works to alienate the

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