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American Culture Chapter 10: How Americans Spend Their Leisure Time.

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Presentation on theme: "American Culture Chapter 10: How Americans Spend Their Leisure Time."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Culture Chapter 10: How Americans Spend Their Leisure Time

2 Sports and American Values Sports are a reflection of society Organized sports may have a serious social purpose Most popular sports are: – Football – Basketball – Baseball – Soccer

3 Sports and American Values Equality of opportunity – People from different racial, ethnic backgrounds can compete at same level – Football, basketball – African American – Baseball – Latino, Hispanic Competition – Learning how to “win” in life – Taught from an early age

4 Sports and American Values Hard Work – Never give up Amateur and Professional Sports are used to inspire and reinforce basic American values

5 Competition Carried to Extreme Some people feel that the desire to “win” at all cost may weaken American values In extremes, can lead to disorder and violence Many are critical of the attitudes of coaches – Encourage fighting – Hate losing (losers) However, there is still a tradition of “honorable defeat” – losing to an opponent who played well.

6 Competition Carried to Extreme Pressure to succeed can lead to violence in American sports – injuries are common Most Americans would say competition strengthens national character – Lack of competition would lead to laziness and vice Too much money in sports – less about loyalty to fans Pressure to win may also lead to drug use (against the law and American values)

7 Recreation: A Time for Self- Improvement “Recreation” – generally not “competitive” – Tennis – Jogging – Skiing “work hard, play hard” Physical fitness is important to many people – Working out – Swimming – Squash – Racquetball – Aerobics – Marathons

8 Recreation: A Time for Self- Improvement Americans often have difficulty “relaxing” in their leisure time Physical activity can be mentally relaxing Self- improvement – try to improve physical performance Also “non-physical” activities aimed at self improvement – Hobbies – Handicrafts – Bird-watching – etc

9 Recreation: A Time for Self- Improvement “Self reliance” is also important to some – Adventure travel – Mountain biking – Rock climbing – Bungee jumping – Skydiving – Etc Also “soft-adventures” for older people

10 Health and Fitness Not all Americans are physically fit 2/3 are overweight (bad diet) 1/5 obese 2 nd biggest cause of “preventable” death Government is educating people to eat better foods and do more exercise

11 Health and Fitness Many Americans try many different diets Government has forced food makers to clearly state ingredients of food However, many still eat what they want when they want it “Culture of over indulgence” reinforced by mass media. Part of American life Preference for junk food / fast food

12 The Impact of Television The general population has gotten heavier, but their “ideals” have gotten slimmer Insecurity – eating disorders Also, people who watch a lot of TV do less exercise “Couch potatoes” Endless TV programming

13 The Impact of Television Average TV is on 6 hours per day Children may spend 24 hours per week watching TV High levels of childhood obesity Poor performance in school Lowered attention span (channel surfing) Exposure to inappropriate media

14 The Impact of Television Alternatives include – History channel – Discovery – Science Channel But most kids prefer MTV, HBO Government wants more regulation of content Others say responsibility is the parents, but many work full time. TVs in bedrooms

15 The Impact of the Internet Surfing the net – new kinds of leisure activities – Chat rooms – – Instant messaging Many parents are worried about exposure Regulation of internet? Dangers to children

16 The Impact of the Internet Regulation would stifle growth of the internet and development of new technology eg. Wireless “Always accessible” via cell phone, SMS etc has impact on ability to relax Can’t get away from work Change in law to increase statutory vacations Most Americans fell they don’t have enough leisure time


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