In the United States and Canada, a jock is a stereotype of an athlete, or someone who is primarily interested in sports and sports culture, and does not take much interest in intellectual culture. It is generally attributed mostly to high school and college athletics participants who form a distinct youth subculture. As a blanket term, jock can be considered synonymous with athlete. Jocks are usually presented as practitioners of team sports, such as football, basketball or baseball.
Similar words that may mean the same as jock (in North America) include meathead,musclebrain, and musclehead. These terms are based on the stereotype that a jock is muscular, but not very smart, and cannot carry a conversation on any topic other than one relating to sports, exercise, or sex.
The use of the term "jock" to refer to an athletic man is thought to have emerged around 1963. It is believed to be derived from the word "jockstrap," which is an undergarment worn to support/protect the male genitals while playing sports.
Jocks are often contrasted with another negative stereotype, nerds. This dichotomy is a theme in many American movies, television shows, and books.
In the UK the term 'Jock' is a stereotypical (possibly, but not necessarily, derogatory) term for a Scotsman.
The following list includes the various characteristics of the jock stereotype:
- Stuck-up and self-centered
- Aggressive, angered quickly, egotistical, offended easily, and short-tempered
- Rude and arrogant
- Muscular and athletic
- Do not cry
- Afraid to hug or hold a friend too long
- Do not show weakness or fear
Portrayal in the media
Stereotypical jocks are often present in books, movies, and television shows involving high school or college. The stereotype is most prevalent in movies for teenagers such as College, American Pie, and Revenge of the Nerds movies. The stereotype extends beyond the high-school and collegiate age group, trickling down into media intended for younger audiences. Examples of this include the high school football quarterback Dash Baxter in the Nickelodeon cartoon Danny Phantom and Kevin from the Cartoon Network series Ed, Edd n Eddy. Other notable portrayals of the stereotype include the popular athlete love interest "Tommy Ross" in Carrie, the spoiled bullying antagonist Luke Ward in the first season of The O.C., and Kim's wealthy athlete boyfriend Jim in Edward Scissorhands.
The mass media borrows many stereotypical characteristics of jocks, and they are commonly used to portray a character who is relatively unintelligent and unenlightened, but nonetheless socially and physically well-endowed. Usually, jocks will play aggressive sports such as football or basketball. Examples from television shows include Ryan Shay in the sitcom Suburgatory and Jimmy Armstrong (Dan Cortese) in the sitcom Hot in Cleveland. The main jock character often occupies a high position, such as the quarterback or captain of the football team. In many cases the jock is shown to come from a wealthy family: driving a fancy, expensive sports car or SUV, and wearing expensive, name-brand clothing; however, this is not always the case. In this regard there may be significant overlap with the preppie stereotype.
As a protagonist, the jock is often a dynamic character who through an epiphany or new understanding will lead to a change in the values of the jock. This change often means a cessation of athletics and/or some other equivalent social sacrifice which leads to the character no longer being considered a jock. Examples from movies include Randall "Pink" Floyd in Dazed and Confused and Andrew Clark in The Breakfast Club. Examples from television shows include Nathan Scott in the teen drama series One Tree Hill, Whitney Fordman in Smallville and Luke Ward in The O.C..
As antagonists, jocks can be stock characters shown as lacking compassion for the protagonist, and are generally flat and static. Often, in high school comedies or dramas where the main characters are not popular, the jock is the chief antagonist and cruel to the main characters. He is disliked by the nerds and other people considered unpopular, and usually has an unfortunate (and in some cases, violent and/or fatal) ending. Heathers' "Kurt" and "Ram" roles, the Spider-Man character Flash Thompson, high school football jocks and Connie D'Amico's cronies Scott and Doug in Family Guy, high school football captain Oliver Wilkerson in The Cleveland Show, Jean Grey's first boyfriend Duncan Matthews in X-Men: Evolution, middle school bully and "Crush Ball" player Rodney Glaxer from Lloyd in Space, and Massimo Lenzetti (Justin Chambers) in the filmThe Wedding Planner are such examples. There are also numerous jock antagonists found in teen dramas such as the rapist Dean Walton from Degrassi.
On the show Pretty Little Liars, Emily Fields is the athletic one of the group. In the 1978 movie GreaseDanny Zuko changed his greaser look for jock to impress Sandy. In the 2006 hit movie High School Musical, Troy Bolton was a star jock of East High School in addition to other characters Chad Danforth, Zeke Baylor, and also Troy's father Jack Bolton. In 2013's Monsters University, Johnny Worthington is the proud leader of Roar Omega Roar (RΩR). Additionally, Kevin Thompson of Daria, which satirized high school life, conformed to the "dumb" athlete stereotype, though was never mean towards lead character Daria Morgendorffer and her friend Jane Lane; another jock character, Mac Mackenzie, was depicted as intelligent and cordial to the main characters, and was never shown to be a bully (even though he was often annoyed at Kevin's dimness).
List of fictional Jocks
Education and athletics
The general perception that athletes are unintelligent is derived from the idea that athletic and academic success are mutually exclusive. Prior to 1990, many researchers were critical with respect to the impact of extracurricular activities and athletics in particular on education. According to the so-called "Zero Sum Model", education and extracurriculars compete for student's time. However, later studies present a strong evidence that athletic or cultural extracurricular activities in school would increase school attendance, self-confidence, grade (in some instance) and college attendance but would reduce performance in standardized test.
Despite the fact that many schools recruit for sports, they put stipulations in place that require student athletes to maintain minimum academic grade in order to maintain their scholarships. Schools recruit students to their athletic teams, but require a student maintain a certain grade-point average (GPA) in order to have the scholarship renewed. For many young athletes, this is imperative as they could not afford higher education on their own. Therefore, they balance proper study with the demands of their sport.
At the college level in the United States, the NCAA does have some education requirements that must be met for high school students to play in a Division I school, and to be eligible for a scholarship. The most recent standards passed by the NCAA, which will apply to all incoming college freshmen beginning with the class of 2016, requires that 16 core high school courses be completed by the student-athlete, 7 of which must be either math, science, or English, and 10 of those 16 classes must be completed prior to their senior year of high school. As well, the students must graduate high school with a minimum 2.3 GPA (up from the 2.0 GPA requirement that was in place prior to these new standards). Such requirements have been debated for years, however.
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- ^ abcAnderson, Eric (2014). 21st century jocks : sporting men and contemporary heterosexuality. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137550668.
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High School Sports Essay
1299 Words6 Pages
High School Sports
In high school many kids often choose not to participate in extra curricular activities saying that there pointless or that only a certain type of person would do something like play football, or join the chess club. While this type of thinking may get some people through school and through life, can it really be looked at as being a healthy lifestyle? Today sports have proven to be a healthy outlet for students, in dealing with stress in the classroom at home and among their peers. The “dumb jock” stereotype we’ve all heard it used before and for some of us have even been called it. However in recent surveys across the United States has found that student-athletes grades are generally higher than…show more content…
As far as athletes on the field a great many lessons are often learned there and one of the biggest lessons is sportsmanship. For any sports played teamwork is often times essential for winning. It also allows for a person to become more confident in their own abilities allowing them to become more proud and not ashamed of what they can or cannot do. It allows players to build bonds among their teammates and while this maybe be one of the main creators of the “jocks hang out with jocks” stereotype it is only because athletes feel a connection to someone that is going through the same time of training and emotions that sports tend to create. Sportsmanship teaches a person the value of working together in groups and allows the player to learn how to adjust to situations that he or she may not agree with. The work ethic sportsmanship creates is also carried off the field as well into the school and more importantly the working environment, because we all know that in our lifetimes we are going to have to work with someone that we do not like or agree with. And having the ability to be able to work through a problem which sportsmanship can do allows for an easier job experience. Athletes also tend to be generally much more healthier than non-athletes, do to the type of training and experiences they are put through for their respective sports. Athletes