Sports and Society

开始时间: 待定 持续时间: Unknown

所在平台: Coursera

课程类别: 人文

大学或机构: Duke University(杜克大学)

授课老师: Orin Starn



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Sports play a giant role in contemporary society worldwide.  But few of us pause to think about the larger questions of money, politics, race, sex, culture, and commercialization that surround sports everywhere.  This course draws on the tools of anthropology, sociology, history, and other disciplines to give you new perspectives on the games we watch and play.  We will focus on both popular sports like soccer (or “football,” as anyone outside America calls it), basketball, and baseball, and also lesser-known ones like mountain-climbing and fishing.  Special guests will include former major league baseball player and ESPN commentator Doug Glanville; leading sports journalist Selena Roberts; and sports studies experts David Andrews, Grant Farred, and Katya Wesolowski. You will never watch or think about sports in the same way again.


Week One: Introduction to key concepts in sports studies, including  the distinctions between play, games, and sports; examination of the 19th century rise of organized professional sports.  Case study focus on the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira.

Week Two: exploration of the globalization of sports, and the relationship between sports and politics, nationalism, and social protest.  Case study focus on the rise of South American soccer, originally imported from England in the 19th century; Hitler’s 1936 Berlin Olympics; and the Black Power Protest at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

Week Three: race and race relations in sports, including the history of African Americans in sports and new Asian sports stars.  Case study of golf and superstar Tiger Woods.

Week Four; gender and sexuality; how sports have been linked to idea of male prowess, and, more recently, the rise of women’s sports; the question of homophobia and its continuing presence in the sports world.  Case study focus on women’s figure-skating and the American NFL.

Week Five: sports fans, and the question of why so many of us spend so much time watching and going to games; examination of role of aesthetics and beauty in sports. Case study focus on 24/7 cable sports channels and American college sports . 

Week Six: the business of sports; considers the enormous growth of the multibillion dollar business of sports, including video games, apparel, licensing, and other forces.  Case study focus on Nike.   Special video hook-up with workers at Alta Gracia, a fair trade college team jersey manufacturer in the Dominican Republic.

Week Seven: the growth of extreme sports, and larger questions about the relation between sports and the purpose and meaning of life.   Case study focus on mountain-climbing, fishing, and skateboarding.    


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This course explores the role of sports around the world, and how the games we watch and play shape identity, culture, and society.


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