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SMGT 2230: Social Issues in Sports

Sociology of Sport



Chapter 1: Introduction to the Sociology of Sport 

1.1. Why should I take sociology of sport course? 

1.2. The sociology and psychology of sport: What’s the difference? 

1.3. Play, games, and sports: They’re all related to each other 

1.4. Professional associations in the sociology of sport 

1.5. Where to find sociology of sport research 

1.6. Basketball: An idea becomes a sport 

1.7. People’s sports versus Prolympic sports: What are the differences?  

Chapter 2: Producing Knowledge 

2.1. Sociologists use more than one theoretical approach 

2.2. Sports are more than a reflection of society 

2.3. The meaning of pain: Interactionist theory as a research guide 

2.4. Specific theories used in the sociology of sport 

2.5. Feminist theories in the sociology of sport 

2.6. Sociology of sport research today is based on a critical approach 

2.7. A European approach: Figurational approach 

Chapter 3: Socialization 

3.1. Socialization and sports: A brief overview 

3.2. Making decisions about sport participation during adolescence 

3.3. Sports and character development among adolescents 

3.5. Why do people believe that “sport builds character”? 

3.6. Saving the world with youth sports: Who is doing it and are they succeeding? 

Chapter 4: Youth sports 

4.1. Youth sports: what we know  

4.2. Youth advocacy guidelines: Do we need them in sports? 

4.3. Mead’s Theory on the development of the self: Implications for organized youth sport programs 

4.4. The “logic” of sport specialization: Using children for adult purposes 

4.6. Citizenship Through Sports Alliance: Youth sports report cards 

4.7. Project Play: Re-creating youth sports in the U.S. 

Chapter 5: High school & college sports 

5.1. Research faculty are not eager to study intercollegiate sports 

5.2. A brief history of NCAA academic reforms 

5.3. School–community relations 

5.4. Ethnicity and sport participation among high school girls 

5.5. Conformity or leadership in high school sports 

5.6. Academic detachment in college sportsPage Break 

Chapter 6: Gender 

6.1. Definition and explanation of sexual terms 

6.2. A continuing struggle: Women’s professional basketball in the United States 

6.3. Reasons for men to police gender boundaries: Preserving access to power 

6.4. Using myths to exclude women from sports 

6.5. Newspaper coverage of Caster Semenya and IOC/IAAF rules for intersex athletes 

6.6. History, impact, and current status of Title IX 

6.7. Lost between two categories: The girl who didn’t fit 


Chapter 7: Race/ethnicity 

7.1. Knowledge about race today (from PBS, “Race: The Power of an Illusion”) 

7.2. Media coverage of Joe Louis 

7.3. Racial ideology in sports 

7.4. Native Americans and team mascots 

7.5. Samoan men in college and professional football 

7.6. Profit motives and desegregating sports 

7.7. Sports as sites for transforming racial attitudes 

7.8. Why aren’t all sports racially and ethnically desegregated? 

Chapter 8: Social class 

8.1. Social class and the future of high school sports 

8.2. Home countries of the 100 highest-paid athletes 

8.3. Year-round sports participation and future career options 

8.4. Professional football players and poverty rates by state 

8.5. The World Cup and the Olympics: Who benefits in Brazil?  

Chapter 9: Age & disability 

9.1. We’re not handicapped: We just can’t hear 

9.2. How can I wear shoes if I don’t have feet? 

9.3. The hit isn’t real unless it bends steel: Men and murderball 

9.4. Paying the price: The cost of sport prostheses 

9.5. Tensions in the Olympic family: Siblings with disabilities 

9.6. “One of God’s favorites”: Religion and disability 

Chapter 10: Politics & government 

10.1. Politics in organized sports 

10.2. Protests and boycotts: Politics and the Olympic Games 

10.3. There’s nothing so over as the World Cup 

10.4. Qatar and Slovenia: Two approaches to using sports as a developmental strategy 

10.5. The soccer stadium as a political protest site: Looking back at the Arab spring 

Page Break 

Chapter 11: Religion 

11.1. Christian sports organizations 

11.2. Ramadan as an issue for Muslim athletes 

11.3. Self-indulgence for the “glory of God”: Christian witness in high-performance sports 

11.4. Skateistan: Skateboarding and gender barriers 

Chapter 12: Deviance 

12.1. Using deviance to create commercial personas in sports 

12.2. Deviant overconformity and underconformity: Is there a connection? 

12.3. Is sport participation a cure for deviance? 

12.4. Defining performance-enhancing substances 

12.5. Why is the challenge of substance control so great in sports today? 

12.6. Sport doping in recent history 

12.7. Arguments for and against drug testing as a deterrent 

Chapter 13: Violence 

13.1. The social psychological dynamics of violence in sports 

13.2. Sports violence: More barbaric than you think 

13.3. Fan violence: Ultras in Italy as a case study 

13.4. Violence and animal sports  

Chapter 14: Economy & Commercialization 

14.1. Women’s professional team sports can’t get traction 

14.2. Turning spectacle into sport: Mixed martial arts 

14.3. Red Bull and high-energy sports 

14.4. Why business and political leaders love new stadiums 

14.5. Franchise values and making money in professional sports 

15.6. A tale of two hockey lockouts 

14.7. Fantasy sports and esports: New commercial frontiers 

Chapter 15: Media 

15.1. New media: Consuming sports 24/7 

15.2. Putting media to use: The NFL as a marketing machine 

15.3. Live by the tweet, die by the tweet: Learning to use new media 

15.4. Virtual sports: Play safe, stay home 

15.5. The stronger women get, the more men watch football: A prediction from  


15.6. People who don’t watch sports on TV subsidize those who do. 

Chapter 16: Change & the future 

16.1. Sport fans as agents of change 

16.2. Technology and change in sports 

16.3. Working for change: Charity versus social justice 

16.4. Using sports to make social change: Does it work? 

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