Seminar in Sociology of Sport
Whether one takes an historical, long-term view, or a more present-centred, ‘here-and-now’ approach, sport has always ‘mattered’. The sociological study of sport may still be viewed with some justification as a subfield in its infancy, but it is clear that the sweep of theoretical approaches brought to bear on sport-related behaviours, processes, and structures is no less impressive than in other subdisciplinary fields often perceived as more mature and sophisticated. Some theories have been more pronounced than others at different stages in the development of the subfield, some have had more of a lasting impact, and other perspectives, despite great promise, have been curiously under-utilized. This graduate seminar encourages students to think sociologically about sport. Based around fundamental questions such as “Why do we need sociological theory?”, and “How do we think with theory?”, its principle goal is to explore the range of sociological tools available for understanding one of contemporary society’s most important and compelling social institutions -- sport. In addition to focusing on how to understand sport theoretically/sociologically, an additional, and no less important, underlying objective of the seminar is to encourage students to take their own professional socialization seriously. Students will have an opportunity to develop and improve their skills regarding four dimensions of academic life: (i) professional and academic writing; (ii) delivering presentations to an audience of peers; (iii) critical self-assessment and appraisal; (iv) cv’s, conference presentations, and academic publications.