This thesis focuses on high school athletic participation using three different sociological theories to explain participation: rational choice; conflict theory with a focus on Bourdieu's habitus; and symbolic interactionism with a focus on Goffman's impression management. Three hundred and sixty surveys were sent to a randomly selected sample of The College of Wooster students. One hundred were returned with a response rate of 27.8 percent. Four hypotheses were developed to explain youths' sports participation. I found statistical significance for youth playing the same sport as their parents as well as youth having a grasp of gender roles and impression management. Further research with a more diverse population is necessary. This study will hopefully help individuals make informed decisions about sport participation and what they expect to gain from it.


Nurse, Anne M.


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2007 Bradley M. Michel