Sport and Society

Course Code: SOCI 219

Academic Year: 2023-2024

From the warrior games of Ancient Greece and the gladiators of the Roman Colosseum to the fevered pitch of Soccer City in South Africa, sports offer us both violent spectacles and collective rituals that have long been at the heart of human social life. In this course, students will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the many meanings and fascinations associated with sport culture, both as participants and fans. Beginning with a discussion of the various definitions and characteristics of sport, students will learn to apply core sociological theories to the study of sport in order to understand its social, political and economic dimensions. Special attention will be paid to the impact of globalization and the evolution of mass media and new media technologies on the production, consumption and commodification of professional sports. Other units will focus on sport as it relates to topics such as culture and cultural policy, social stratification, race and ethnicity, gender, abilities and violence. All of these topics will be studied within a North American and Canadian context, and students will have the opportunity to explore the role that sport assumes in developing and fostering national identity in Canada. By the end of the course, students will have gained a wide-ranging and comprehensive understanding of the role that sport plays in shaping individual human behavior and in the wider social world.