This book has explored different sports played at different levels (interscholastic and intercollegiate, professional and pickup) by different kinds of people for different reasons; these include baseball, basketball, boxing, golf, and football. It has also looked at varied communities—large, midsize, and small; urban, suburban, and rural; college towns, postindustrial cities, and megalopolises—in more than a dozen states in different regions of the United States. It has investigated the ways in which different people use sport “to connect, to merge, to create community.” Community and identity have been conceptualized differently and brought together with sport in a variety of ways. Many people derive a sense of belonging or “oneness” from playing, watching, and cheering sports. A sense of belonging often provides people with the meaning they desire.
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