Sociology of Sports

Sociology and Anthropology (S/A-244-003), Spring 2014

Course Description

In this new seminar, students are introduced to the Sociology of Sports, the systematic and critical study of the complex and sometimes paradoxical role of organized sports in our society. Like any other social institution, organized sports reflect, reproduce, and transform widespread cultural values, meanings, and ideologies. We will examine these dynamics in sports, as well as the relationships between sports and other critical aspects of social life, such as law, race, gender, inequality, mass media, nationalism, and socialization. We will also consider the positive and negative impacts of sports on society, from how they can bring us together, break down barriers, and showcase the best of the human spirit, to how, simultaneously, they can tear us apart, strengthen damaging stereotypes, and encourage exploitation.

Course Details

  • When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon to 1:20 p.m.
  • Where: Beck Hall 321
  • Who should sign up: non-athletes, athletes, ex-athletes, wannabe athletes, weekend warriors, couch potatoes, sociologists, non-sociologists, and/or wannabe sociologists. All are welcome (no prerequisites).
  • Who should not sign up: "People who feel no temptation before closed doors, who have no curiosity about human beings, who are content to admire scenery without wondering about the people who live in those houses on the other side of that river, should probably stay away..." (Peter Berger 1963:24)

Jeffrey Seymour, PhD

Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology