Cheating: A Cultural Construct Cheating Thesis

Length: 12 pages Sources: 15 Subject: Sports Type: Thesis Paper: #53593676 Related Topics: Infidelity, Anabolic Steroids, Steroids, Plagiarism
Excerpt from Thesis :

This presented the troubling consideration that many of the current standard-bearers for physical excellence were the product of performance enhancing drug use. Moreover, this cast a dark shadow on what have been regarded as some of the game's greatest recent accomplishments, which had been achieved through cheating.

In that vein, Canseco's claim was succeeded by an admission that seemed to justify this reproach. Mark McGwire, Canseco's former Oakland Athletic teammate, admitted that he had actively used steroids throughout the course of the fabled 1998 season in which he dethroned Roger Maris as the single-season homerun champion (Ferrell, 1). To many, it called into question the true nature of his accomplishments. In 2002, Ken Caminiti dealt a similar blow to professional athletic achievements' credibility when he admitted that his 1996 National League MVP season was one largely propelled by steroid use. Further, he marked the number of active players in the MLB using performance enhancing drugs at somewhere in the range of 50%.

In spite of this, baseball would be unregulated during this period, particularly when compared to the NFL and NBA where, it bears noting, covert abuses still occur, though on a much smaller scale. The power that collective bargaining grants baseball players had given them just enough influence over their own affairs to avoid random drug testing and strict consequences for failure therein. This, players such as Barry Bonds have argued, would be an unconscionable invasion of privacy and, further, that it is the right of the player and only the player to determine the treatment and maintenance of his own body, and as an extension, the career that rests in that body's vested abilities (Reuters, 2). This was, of course, a self-righteous screed intended only to cover up a massive conspiracy of cheating in baseball. And its consequences have not just been felt in the record books. The impact on those who have grown up and aspiring to the game is quite serious, demonstrating the cultural implications of cheating in baseball.

This is quite illustrated by the 2003 tragedy which befell the Baltimore Orioles, when twenty-three-year-old pitching prospect, Steve Bechler died of what the Palm Beach, Florida coroner's office reported be "multiple organ failure caused by complications of exertional heatstroke" (Nelson, 1). Subsequent autopsy reports revealed that there were above average traces of the dietary supplement ephedrine in his system that physicians believe may have contributed to his death. By United States law, most anabolic steroids are prohibited. This, of course, translates into Major League bylaw. However, the designation dietary supplement has long protected many substances from that same prohibition (Nelson, 2). Namely, both the androstenedione that helped McGwire through 1998 and the ephedrine that may have contributed to the demise Bechler, are both completely legal substances for which Major League Baseball had no punitive response. This points to the reverberating impact of this type of cheating, which not only impacted the game but also which has served as a negative cultural example to those who have admired the stars of the game.

A great deal more close to home than the grand stage of professional sporting, cheating is an extremely common phenomenon in family life. Marital infidelity and divorce are two common and often related realities of modern marriage. With rates in both categories suggesting these to be genuine and consistent threats to the sanctity of marriage and the stability of family, a great deal of consideration is justifiably paid to the impact of these on families, children and society. Clear concerns over family circumstance, living situation and formative familial context all will bear an immediate effect on the way that children of cheating experience the world. However, often overlooked is the set of long-term implications for adult children of dysfunctional marriages. Especially where infidelity is concerned in the dysfunction of a parental marriage, issues such as the way in which the child pursues and maintains relationships may be directly threatened, pointing again to the recurrent theme in our


According to Amato & Booth (2001), there is evidence that specific types of marital dysfunction will tend to emerge in the adult children of such marriages. This theoretical assumption underscores our hypothesis that parental infidelity will lead to the higher possibility of infidelity in adult children.

The article by Hertlein (2006) serves this purpose, delving into "therapeutic issues that should be considered in infidelity cases, such as the role of society in infidelity, multiple dimensions of infidelity, forgiveness, and self-of-the-therapist." (Hertlein, 96) This article demonstrates the complexity to the discourse of the issues surrounding cheating amongst romantic partners.

In the case of parental infidelity, Koski finds, this complexity is even greater. This is because the experience of witnessing this infidelity in a trusted figure such as a parent can manifest as a devastating and irreversible relational violation for the child. As Koski notes, "loss of trust through betrayal, particularly betrayal produced by sexual infidelity can be a particularly poignant loss" (Koski, 2) For the child, recovery may be hard-won and may nonetheless hold unforeseen challenges in the emotional disposition and relationship skills of the adult child. This is to say that cheating in the family context does not just impact the partners in a relationship. Where there are children present, this type of cheating may have lasting effects on the child's psychological makeup and his or her proclivity toward cheating.

This is a demonstration of the impact of cultural contextualization. This denotes that where one is ensconced in a culture of dishonesty and deception, one is more prone to such behaviors. Perhaps most indicative of this would be the collapses in American corporate culture of recent years, when cheating became an epidemic problem with massive financial fallout. The decade which came before the turn of the millennium was a period of great economic expansion for North America and the global community. Advances in communication and web technologies, changes in the nature of the global economy and a period of generally robust corporate growth would suggest limitless opportunities for Americans at every level of the economy. However, this period would also be characterized by widespread deregulation of corporate behaviors and entitlement. This would create an environment of corporate lawlessness. Companies and CEOs would commit many dishonest acts in terms of the presentation of financial outlooks, accounting realities and performance reports for major upstarts and long-standing, reputable financial firms alike. The turn to the 2000s would bring with it new circumstances such as those that would accompany the events of September 11th and a bevy of devastating revelations concerning the behaviors or America's leading corporations. Across the next decade, Enron, Adelphia, Tyco, Nortel, Worlcom, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, AIG and Bernie L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, just to name some of the most noted examples, would either fall into financial ruin after the revelation of massive corruption or would declare bankruptcy due to gross mismanagement. These occurrences would share a direct relationship with the floundering American economy, which today delivers us to the worst financial and economic crises since the Great Depression. At the heart of these failures is an absence of corporate ethical codes, a void of corporate citizenship and a total lack of regulatory oversight protecting Americans from the exploitation of modern corporate robber barons. These would lead to a vacuum in accounting regulation and financial reporting oversight that would help to hide the perpetration of corporate fraud on a widespread and epidemic scale.

Scott (2006) leads the discussion by noting that "during the collapse, share prices of many firms, especially those in the 'hi-tech' industry, fell precipitously. For example, while share prices of General Electric Corp. fell from a high of about $55U.S. In August 2000 to a low of about $21 in October 2002, that of telecommunications firm Nortel Networks fell from a high of about $82 U.S. To a low of 44 cents over the same period. A contributing factor to the market collapse was the revelation of numerous financial reporting irregularities." (Scott, 5) Scott would identify this as a problem of ingrained accounting theory deficiencies, with research from throughout the field demonstrating these deficiencies to be both in the areas of ethical and rational practice of accounting and financial reporting. Ultimately, these deficiencies would pave the way for cheating on a wide scale by members of the corporate community.

As is revealed by the Scott text, it is most particularly the atmosphere of deregulation which contributed to the events of the last decade, with acts of embezzlement…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited:

Amato, P.R. & Booth, A. (2001). The legacy of parents' marital discord: consequences for children's marital quality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(4), 627-638.

BBC News. (2002). Enron Scandal at-a-glance. British Broadcasting Company.

Online at <>.

Ferrel, D. (2002). Steroid Use Among Teenages, FreshAngles.

Cite this Document:

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