Date of Award

Fall 12-8-2023

Degree Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)

Department

English

Co-Chair

Keaton Lamle

Co-Chair

Jeffrey Greene

Abstract

This thesis explores the evolving dynamics of baseball in the context of the sport's struggle to maintain viewership and participation amidst the rise of alternative forms of entertainment and changing media consumption habits. The study adopts an Interactionist Theory lens to analyze how sport influences and reflects societal order. This project delves into baseball's cultural significance as a pillar of American identity and traces its historical connections to American culture, society, politics, and history. The thesis acknowledges the decline in baseball's cultural relevance, participation, and profitability and highlights MLB's role as the gatekeeper of the sport's potential, both domestically and globally. By exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on baseball and the sport's efforts to adapt throughout the project, I underscore MLB's hesitancy to embrace change. While baseball faces challenges and criticisms, it remains a dynamic sport that reflects the ever-changing landscape of American culture and society. MLB has demonstrated an ability to adapt to societal shifts, implying baseball's future viability relies on its ability to evolve and align with the changing values and preferences of fans and participants, both within and outside the United States.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 06, 2028

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