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We often underestimate the benefits of sports
Sports are a mediating institution in which individuals from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives come together in pursuit of a collective goal. That can be the Stanley Cup, the local pee wee championship or even the Sunday morning beer league.
In a culture that prioritizes individual autonomy and expression as the ultimate goods, sports operate according to a different ethic. They’re one of the few facets of modern life where we voluntarily relinquish a bit of our individuality to a collective cause.
It’s perhaps no surprise then that research shows sports are a major source of social capital. They contribute positively to social integration, interpersonal relationships, civic engagement and other forms of community building.
This is the key
The BDN Opinion section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute to reporting or editing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.
Ian M. Mette is associate professor of educational leadership at the University of Maine. This column reflects his views and expertise and he does not speak on behalf of the university.
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