Good Sportsmanship in the Plastic 1950s World of Conformity

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Good Sportsmanship teaches young teens how to build relationships with opponents and how fitting into social groups is more important than winning or “getting what you want.” This exemplary 1950’s social guidance film uses sports as a metaphor for life in order to teach social conformity and deference to the needs of the group over those of the individual. Several scenes of kids playing basketball and other daily life situations, such as sibling interaction are used to teach this lesson. The film is full of good sportsmanship stories, as well as defining the rules of good sportsmanship in the context of high school sports. The social life of teens and social groups in high school are also explored. Male bonding activities in 1950's culture weren't always easy to come by, and this film champions the relationships that can be built in sports as ideal for teen athletes. The film is also an excellent look at school history and what life in the 1950's schools was like.

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