Sociology 390

SOCY 390

Catalog Entry

SOCY 390. Sociology of Sport
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: SOCY 110 or SOCY/ANTH 121

Sociological theories are utilized to understand the significance of sport as a social institution. Issues such as sport and socialization, the social organization of sport, sport and social stratification, and the relationship of sport to other institutions are discussed.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Sport As a Microcosm of American Society

A. Introduction to the Sociological Study of Sport

1. The pervasiveness of sport
2. Obstacles impeding scholarly research in sport
3. Definitions: sport, leisure, recreation, contest, game

B. Sport, Values, and Society

1. Instrumental foci
2. Managerial foci
3. Deviance in sport

C. Sports for Children

1. Socialization via play and games
2. Socialization via sport

II. Sport and Social Institutions

A. Sport and Education

1. Role of the athlete
2. Role of the coach

B. Sport and Religion

1. Sport as religion
2. How religion and sport use each other

C. Sport and Politics

1. Political uses for sport
2. Political attitudes of coaches and athletes

D. Sport and Economics

1. Professional sport
2. Impact of the mass media

III. Sport and Social Problems

A. Racism

1. History of black involvement in sport
2. Black dominance in sport
3. Racial discrimination in sport

B. Sexism

1. Role of the female athlete
2. Myths and realities about female sports participation
3. Sport socialization for females


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Approximately two-thirds of this class is in lecture format. The additional one-third is discussion of materials drawn from assigned readings, audio-visual presentations, and topical issues in the sports world.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will:

1 develop a sociological perspective on sport;
2. become familiar with the ways that sociological theories and methods might be used to examine sport;
3. examine a behind-the-scenes look at the functioning of sports organizations;
4. become more astute consumers of sport.


Assessment Measures

Students may be graded on the basis of in-class examinations, which may consist of objective and essay questions; quizzes; term papers or projects; and class attendance and participation.


Other Course Information

Informal, ungraded in-class writings may be used to facilitate discussion.


Review and Approval

January, 2004 Reviewed Peggy A. Shifflett

March, 2009