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Institutions and Social Interactions

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Schools are built worldwide to instill awareness in students to help them gain jobs and advance their careers; however, public school also provide extracurricular activities such as singing, acting, and sports. Academics are valued more in other parts of the world than other co-curricular activities, whereas athletics are prioritized in American schools over other academic activities.
Institutions and Relationships in Culture
The article delves into American educational institutions and how a tradition of sports value has expressed itself in several ways. Some of the social interactions mentioned in the article are those between schools and students and those between the government and schools, which show a great deal of cooperation, particularly in sports. In America, a lot of attention and resources is directed towards sports, “sports are a big deal here” (Ripley, 2013). Jenny’s school possesses 18 sports teams, grass fields, six courts for tennis, and finally, a hall of fame dedicated for Athletics (Ripley, 2013). The American government greatly supports sports in schools as there are financial resources which are channeled to the development of sports activities from the states and districts. Embracing of sports has become a norm in schools in the United States as even young children from eighth grade spend more time playing sports than similar kids from different countries. The American kids spend twice more time on sports and value sports more than education than their counterparts from Korea (Ripley, 2013).

The Article and the Society

The article indicates that the society hugely believes that sport is compulsory and should be given priority over academics, for example, the author states that “there are hardly domestic debates about America’s international mediocrity in education” (Ripley, 2013). This shows the society perceives sports as being essential for survival and prosperity. They have given sports a priority above all other aspects of life thus; they feel it is a taboo for its elimination from the school activities. After the suspension of sports, students felt freaked out as they felt they could not do without it and that sport was a sort of rite of passage to them.

Reading the article raised several questions about our society such as; are sports crucial to a student than the academic curriculum? Another question I contemplated on regarding our society was; is reducing the resources relating to sports beneficial to improve the life of the student? The article made me think about people’s behaviors in new ways as I understood that there are people who are passionate about sports to the extent that someone could transfer to a different school just because a sport was eliminated from their previous schools.

Additional Information

I found out that greatly focusing on sports leads to the poor academic performance of the students as they do not make time for their studies since they are busy in the different fields plying different games. Suspension of sports in a school helps the students to focus on their studies and pass their classes and also helps in reducing misconduct cases among students (Tufte, 2012). Additionally, among all the sports practices in schools, football is the most expensive high school sport as it is the most popular and competitive sport and according to the article, “by suspending sports, Singleton realized, he could save $150,000 in one year” (Ripley, 2013). Sports requires playing kits, training equipment almost half a dozen coaches who need to be paid highly as some of them are professional coaches (Tufte, 2012).


The over focusing on sport has had negative impacts and consequences on the performance of schools in terms of education. The society believes that sports should be prioritized over academics as academic issues are not discussed as much as how sport is discussed.

Questions for the Class

How does the culture of valuing sports activities affect the students’ academic performance?

Why is it that American schools value sports to great extents?

Are sports activities more important to a student than the academic curriculum?

How will reducing the resources relating to sports activities be beneficial to improve the performance of the students?


Ripley, A. (2013): The Case Against High-School Sports. Retrieved from:

Tufte, J. E. (2012). Crazy-Proofing High School Sports. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

August 09, 2021


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