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Games, Sports and Cultures
The Sum of Us
Fields of Play
An Ethnography of Children's Sportsav Noel Dyck289
Thousands of children participate in community sports every year, enjoying recreation time with their peers, getting healthy exercise, and learning a variety of personal and group skills. At the same time, children's sports are not without controversy: parents can be overly invested in their children's exploits, competitive success is often the focus, and rising costs can limit participation. Consider, too, that these activities, billed as being for the kids, are often overlaid with other agendas by the adults who volunteer, work, and generally support children's sports. Noel Dyck incorporates nearly two decades of ethnographic field research into this anthropologically informed account that illustrates how all those involved in children's sports-boys and girls, parents, coaches, and sport officials-shape these complex, vibrant fields of play. In the process, he explores larger questions and debates about contemporary family and community and the shaping of childhood, youth, and adulthood. Bridging anthropology, sport studies, and childhood studies, Fields of Play offers a rich understanding of an area that has, to date, gained relatively little attention by social scientists.
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In light of the seismic shift toward criminal behavior involving youth who play sports, it is calming to have an ethnographic account of youth sport that speaks to and demonstrates the positives that come from having young girls and boys participating in games. -- CHOICE
Noel Dyck is Professor of Social Anthropology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. His most recent books include Young Men in Uncertain Times, co-editor with Vered Amit (2011), and Exploring Regimes of Discipline: The Dynamics of Restraint, editor (2008).
Acknowledgements 1. Encountering the Fields of Play 2. "What Kids Really Need": The Systematizing of Sport in Canada 3. Becoming Sport Parents 4. Organizing and Coaching Community Sports 5. Becoming Athletes and Players 6. Pulling Together and Apart in Community Sports 7. Sporting Dreams 8. How the Game is Played Bibliography Index