Analyzing the Relationship between Baseball and Social Capital in the United States; Professional Sport as a Medium of Americanization



American Studies purports a wide range of issues including American civil society, social capital and its popular sports. The recent studies on social capital in the United States reveal the importance and attraction of the issue among the American scholars and policy makers. Nonetheless, social capital is the focal point of social and political critics as well. Social capital is the sum of the totality of civil society as a third form of control beside the government as the primary and the market as the secondary forms. The special indication here is on the fact that in any society popular activities are in meaningful association with voluntary participation; hence, in any given nation the civil society conglomerates the collective action along the lines of whatever ritual, norm or activity that suggests more familiar national connotations. The present survey aims to consider social capital in the United States in relation to an instance of voluntary collective activity i.e. baseball. As the American middle class sport, baseball is the American pastime. By baseball participation both playing of the game and spectatorship, either in the form of attending the field or following through the media, are intended. The findings of the survey reveal the absence of causal relationship between baseball participation and social capital. In other words, unlike the variation in social capital, the middle class activity of baseball participation maintains secure digits. Therefore, according to the findings of the survey, the second hypothesis suggesting the meaningful association between baseball participation and social capital is confirmed. Meanwhile, the role of baseball as a major American icon in the Americanization process institutionalized among other countries is another concern of the study, elaborated it is in the conclusion.