Culture is what unites people and forms nations. It is also based on four pillars: norms, values, ideas, and symbols. Of course, sport is one of the most significant parts of US culture, as lots of people are involved in this sphere. Sport is now one of the most significant industries which earn billions of dollars. Moreover, people do not see their life without sport as people go in for different kinds of sports and love watching sports events.
It is possible to trace the way pillars of culture work through analyzing a basketball game. Finals are very spectacular and attract a lot of attention. Thus, the playoff final between Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will be analyzed. The game was very spectacular and full of brilliant moments. Players were stunning and created a great atmosphere. Spectators were satisfied with the game as it was very dynamic.
As for norms, it is possible to assume that American society sees attending a sports game as a norm since there are no empty seats. It is also a norm to be competitive for US society. This competitiveness is revealed in the game as the players compete vigorously. Moreover, spectators are also ‘infected’ by the desire to win, and they support their teams cheering and going crazy. Hence, it is also seen as a norm to express emotions loudly.
Furthermore, it is the norm to participate with the whole family. Children can be seen throughout the game. They share their parents’ emotions and copy adults’ behavior.
As far as values are concerned, it is possible to start with the importance of family for Americans. As has been mentioned above, adults come to games with their children, and the camera often focuses on children. Besides, there are commercials which focus on family values as well. For instance, at the game, there was a commercial of mayonnaise, which is promoted as a thing necessary for a traditional American meal.
It is also important to consider the importance of competitiveness for Americans. It is not only a norm to be competitive. This trait of character is valued. It is possible to see the way it is valued since spectators support their team when they are competitive and do their best to win.
When a team fails to show determination, spectators, as well as commentators, can be dissatisfied. Thus, angry spectators may shout and demand better performance from players. Finally, success can be regarded as another value. Americans think that success is important in sport and life.
When it comes to ideas, it is necessary to start with the belief that sport is a very important part of Americans’ lives. People take every event quite seriously. Commentators try to be professional and precise in their comments on the game. Players never stop developing new skills and tricks. At the same time, there is a belief that sport is also a way to relax from hard work.
People try to forget about their problems and become a part of something else. Thus, every final is a big show which helps people relax. Of course, there is a belief that people have to be competitive to succeed in everything, and it is important to succeed in life. After analysis of the game, it becomes obvious Americans tend to think that victory is the point, not mere participation.
Finally, it is important to pay attention to symbols which are present in every sphere of people’s lives, and they are, of course, apparent in the basketball game under consideration. One of the symbols is body art which can be seen on spectator’s faces and even bodies (there was a man with an emblem of one of the teams on his belly). Spectators also wear specific clothes. This is done to show their preferences. This is a symbol of their support.
Therefore, all these norms, values, ideas, and symbols draw a picture of the American culture. It is possible to assume that Americans strive for success in their lives and expect to see it everywhere. Americans also know how to relax and have fun. They love spectacular events and appreciate the professionalism. They also remember that family is one of the most important things in their life and they spend a lot of exciting moments with their close ones.
This assignment was eye-opening for me as I learned about the American culture and the way it is reflected in sport. I never thought a sports event could be analyzed and seen from a cultural perspective. Now I know that through analysis of a sports event, it is possible to better understand any culture.
I have started paying more attention to numerous details and looking for a variety of symbols and values in different sources. I believe a sports event is not the only object of analysis as every event can provide insights into a culture. I find it exciting as it helps me learn more about US culture and myself.