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MrHuggles

Agression and Competition in Schools

In a private message with a friend on another site, I got into a discussion about something that most schools seem to have today; Spirit Week.  For those who don't know what this is, it's not a week devoted to the dead (I wish).  It's a week of competition between the four different grade levels of students in high school.  Sometimes it can become very competitive and result in damages to the school and sometimes the students (either at the school or away from it).  Here are my thoughts that I posted in a response to my friend.

I have a problem with spirit week in schools now, even more since I’ve taken my culture class.  Initially in school I just hated it because I didn't care for it and hated all the noise and being crammed into a small gym for it all.  but now that I’ve taken a close look at North American and other cultures I realize that it pretty much teaches kids to hate each other.  Not directly telling them to hate but by teaching them that one of the most important things to do in life is out do everyone and everything else.  In short; "you much win".  it's part of the competitive nature of U.S.A. culture and anthropologists accept that aggressive competitive behavior is not only part of U.S. and North American culture, but is so integrated into it that it's almost the main blood of the culture as is.  To remove the competitive nature of U.S. society would result in a near total change of its culture.  Anthropologists claim this competitive nature to be a result of the Independent structure of familiar relations.  This Independent way of life is detrimental in some aspects to a person's development of understanding and behavior.  While it is well suited for an urban society in which wage labor is the primary source of income and survival, other societies around the world have managed to maintain a dependent structure of familiar relations.  This often does not teach children and individuals to be competitive, but instead to be cooperative with each other.  With less competition between individuals there is less of a presence of fighting occurring either within a certain group or between different groups.  In history, it is often the societies that have cooperation within their culture that not only thrive, but last the longest.  with such things as competitive sports, placement tests, and social classing present in schools today, it's no wonder children are growing up to be highly distrustful of others and be more likely to harbor illgotten feelings towards people who are different in any way or pose a threat of outperforming another individual.
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