Investment of YU Students in American Professional Sports at Different Educational Phases.
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In 2015, Gallup, an American analytics company, reported that 59% of Americans identify as fans of American Professional Sports (Jones, 2019). And the commitment runs deep: a 2016 CBS News poll reported that 56% of Americans will rearrange their schedule to accommodate the viewing of a sporting event (Stewart, 2016). In light of the sports rage in the United States, I, as a Modern Orthodox college student, aim to see what trends of sports investment exist in my community of contemporaries. Yeshiva University is the flagship institution representing Modern Orthodoxy in the United States, so its population of students could serve as a good sample to track the existence and extent of sports fandom among the general cohort of Modern Orthodox college-aged students. I am particularly interested in any changes in spectator sport-related behavior at different educational phases, such as high school, yeshiva, and college. As a high schooler, I was an intense fan of the New York Rangers. After time spent studying in my "Year in Israel," my sports-watching habits decreased significantly, for various reasons, and those new tendencies trickled over to my experience as a college student, where I was less invested in the New York Rangers than I had been in high school. I therefore intend to establish whether there exist systematic differences in sports investment in YU students from high school to college as well as discern potential defining characteristics of one's "Year in Israel” that could account for such changes. Further, though there has been much literature on Modern Orthodox high school and college students in terms of their education (Bieler, 1986) and issues that exist within the community, there has been little-to-no research done on the role of sports in the lives of religious Jewish children and young adults and how invested they are in sports following and culture. Data in these areas would be helpful in that it would provide an indication as to how Modern Orthodox adolescents, as a subpopulation and significant minority in America, see themselves in relation to overall American sports culture.
Honors student thesis: Author OA restricted (2 yr. embargo)
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