Sport as a vehicle of social mobility for the black athlete in twentieth century America

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jacqueline Palmer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Elizabeth Umstead

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate sport as a mechanism of mobility for the black athlete in contemporary American society. Sport has been viewed as a cultural manifestation, as a platform for racial protest and as a vehicle for the black man living in a white man's establishment. Sociological considerations have been reviewed relating to the status of the Negro in America, the analysis of the conceptual complexity of social mobility and the reasons why sport has been sought by blacks as a recourse against social denial. American society maintains both a class and a caste structure. The Negro has been able to advance within his caste but has rarely been able to achieve horizontal mobility across caste lines. Sport has enhanced mobility within the caste and has enabled some black athletes to make progress toward integration. Although prejudice and exploitation are evident in the athletic world it is concluded that sport affords the Negro one of the greatest opportunities for social, cultural, and economic recognition in America. The sporting ritual is characterized by ethical principles which promote harmony in human relationships and it is one of the more positive and responsive mechanisms of integration operating in society today. Sport has promising potential for contributing toward de-segregation in many aspects of American life.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1971

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