Sport and Society [CRN 31345]

Discipline: Sociology
Instructor: Morris
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1230
End: 1350
Field Work: Day 1 | January 31, 2019 | China
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Homesick for American sports? Missing “March Madness?” Anxious about maintaining fitness at sea? Aware that in most countries on our itinerary, men and women are too poor to fret about “working out?” This course offers a compelling look at how men and women fit into national sports culture, particularly where athletes are pressured to model nationalist and cultural beliefs. How are men and women differently socialized, from very early ages, in terms of healthful exercise and competitive games? How does a national media construct ideals of winners and losers, ideal bodies, masculinity and femininity? We’ll explore the history of racialized bodies, Olympic controversy, fan violence, and cultural beliefs about strength and injury. In each port, you’ll have ample opportunity to observe or join in sports activities; and to consider the gendered aspects of recreation, food, athletic clothing, and sports heroes.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand the politics of gender and sport in our own schools, in public life, and globally.
  2. Know the various customs, rationalizations and social codes restricting female access to sports participation.
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with the athletes and educators who are changing attitudes and opportunities.
  4. Evaluate the limits and possibilities for sports to bring together regional enemies and/or break down barriers between political opponents.

Field Work

Country: China
Day: 1
Date: January 31, 2019

We will experience a Tai Chi lesson in Fuxing park and tour a boxing club in Shanghai. In the afternoon the class will visit Dienfeng, a residential facility for fitness and weight management.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Observe Chinese approaches and methodologies for cultivating excellence in athletic achievement.
  2. Compare U.S. and Chinese ideologies of patriotism through sport competition and victory.