The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Opinion

July 3, 2013

Bill Stanczykiewicz: Lessons from Little League shape civil behavior

Lessons from the boys of summer, the little boys of summer, that is, can help us encourage civil behavior among all of the kids in our lives.

And civility among young people is an issue. Surveys reveal that a majority of adults use words such as “rude” and “irresponsible” to describe today’s teens. Employers note a lack of work ethic and other basic character traits, especially among younger employees.

Teenagers themselves agree. Less than one-third of high school students say their classmates treat each other with respect, and only 20 percent say their classmates treat their teachers with respect.

While adults can lament a coarsened culture encouraging bad behaviors among today’s youth, the kids declare something different. In a survey of 3,000 teenagers, only one-fourth cited celebrities as the most important influence in their lives while nearly half pointed to parents, youth workers and other adults who they know personally.

In a separate question, 75 percent said their most enjoyable activity is hanging out with friends – underscoring the unique impact of peer influence.

Northwestern University sociologist Gary Alan Fine confirmed these dominant dynamics among youth and the people directly in their lives by observing Little League baseball teams. Fine’s research examines the relationships we have in small groups – including family, schools, community organizations and religious congregations – and how those relationships shape behavior, including civil behavior.

In his book, “Tiny Publics,” Fine writes, “Social awareness begins with face-to-face behavior and continues as we learn to account for and make adjustments to the presence and the demands of others.” Small groups, the author argues, create “expectations of the shared and the proper” and are “spaces that shape personal choices.”

One of those spaces Fine studied is the little league baseball diamond. After observing players on several teams, Fine discovered, “Life on the team provided different models that the players could use in other groups and in their understandings of how social life should transpire.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • OPN - HB0802 - hp photo with editorial - SU Editorial: Dan Patch Invitational brings national focus The Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park on Aug. 8 brings some of the best standardbreds into the state and brings the local track into a national spotlight. This is a great chance to support the effort to keep the city on the map and a big crowd helps add to the atmosphere.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter: President's trade being swept under rug My question to all, why do we keep hearing after a number of months about the shootings in Colorado, Sandy Hook, etc., but yet the president illegally deals with terrorists, trades five for a believed deserter and now it is being swept under the rug?

    August 1, 2014

  • Letter: New glass ceiling is $12 an hour All those libertarians, tea party, conservatives (dupes of the rich) are leading America's middle class and poor into poverty and depression.

    August 1, 2014

  • Letter: Constitution, laws being trampled Nancy Pelosi said, "When it comes to protecting the children I'm a lioness!" Too bad that doesn't include the babies who are ripped from the womb. How ironic to hear the progressive liberals talk of compassion for illegals while killing our own.

    August 1, 2014

  • Letter: Liberal says 'illegal' should be taboo Did you see where a well-known liberal wants to do away with the "I" word? 'I' as in "illegal."

    August 1, 2014

  • NWS - HB0728 - World War 1 Local Bob Quinn 2 Editorial: WWI commemorated at 100th anniversary On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. There was overwhelming support. Neutrality was no longer an option. The sinking by Germany of the British ocean liner, the Lusitania, further committed Americans to the cause. Madison County answered the call, too.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Viewpoint: Panhandlers give wrong impression of our city First of all, let me start off by saying that I have as much empathy and compassion for those less fortunate as the next person.

    July 31, 2014

  • Editorial: Ring the bell! School is back in session Whether it’s the first first day of school or the last first day of high school, a multitude of unknown obstacles, achievements and milestones await. Enjoy every single one.

    July 30, 2014

  • Editorial: City overzealous in calling for Chamberlain probe In the aftermath of The Herald Bulletin's recent news report that City Councilman Rodney Chamberlain had been cleared of criminal wrongdoing in relation to basketball league funds, one question stands out.

    July 30, 2014

  • OPN - Mootry column mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Primus Mootry: The African-American community toward a new narrative African Americans are entirely unique in the annals of American history and, perhaps, the whole history of mankind. This uniqueness demands an African American agenda and, with it, a new narrative, or way of articulating that agenda.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

How many Dan Patch races have you attended?

None
1-2
3 or more
All 20
     View Results