|Instructor:||Professor Geoff Smith|
|Telephone:||613-544-5550 Ext. 77800|
|E-mail (preferred):||firstname.lastname@example.org (I shall try to answer emails within 24 hours)|
|Office Hours:||Fridays 2-3:30 p.m. and by appointment|
|Class Days/Times:||Monday 1:30, Wednesday 12:30|
A. TH 12:30 Jeffrey 422
B. TH 1:30 Jeffrey 422
C. FR 8:30 Jeffrey 116
D. FR 11:30 Jeffrey 116
CLASS DISCUSSION AND WEBPAGE: The professor will seek to facilitate discussion in this lecture course through his website (www.geoffsmith.org) and a web page devoted to KNPE167/PHED167. We’ll make use of this page for comments on lectures, questions, debates, and discussion. The bulletin board will facilitate civil and constructive class interaction. More on this early in the course; the bulletin board is http://www.geoffsmith.org/knpe167. Again, more to come. Also check out News & views from the light and dark side of sport (discussions to follow on the bulletin board).
SCOPE: Here, arguably, you will confront the most important contemporary conduit for cultural values—sport. Sport is ubiquitous, a part of our lives, an entrée to understanding the way we fit into larger contexts and the way we interpret these contexts. Once dismissed as a “toy store” or a collection of disparate “pots and pans,” sport sociology now encompasses a broad range of concerns and disciplines and commands respect among scholars in many fields. This introductory level course will allow us to consider varied meanings of sport—nationalism, entertainment, commodity, fitness, dreams and aspirations, a source of fun and pleasure…and what cartoonist Gary Larson calls the far, not so nice, side. The list goes on indefinitely, tying the youngest female figure skater and gymnast to Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, to Marion Jones, and (Yes!) to Simon Whitfield. During the term we shall focus on ideas and insights from the fields of sociology and history, and we shall also open ourselves to perceptions of sport derived from other fields—literature, philosophy, psychology, environmental studies and biology, to name several. We shall draw on our own experiences as well here, as athletes, spectators, and consumers of sporting media and commodities.
TALK AND ARGUMENT: I hope to see much informed discussion (“talk” and “argument”) in this class, especially in tutorial sessions. So please do assigned readings before class and be ready to ask questions and participate. Although the lecture remains a prominent aspect of university life, the art and skill of participating in discussions is also important, perhaps even outlasting the content of the course. What generally passes for discussion within our basically lecture system of education is either pointed questions requiring specific answers, or general questions between instructors and specific students, with occasional flurries between students. For a definition one can say that a good discussion is an argument, or series of arguments, that is continued and flowing, conducted by informed people about interesting or important aspects of a subject (issue, question).
Unfortunately there is widespread bias against argument. Argument is identified with conflict, which is undesirable or evil. We must get over this feeling. Argument is, in fact, the basic intellectual tool. One problem, especially for the shy individual, is personal, ego identification with an argument s/he presents. One thing should be made clear: an argument is not possessed—it is public property—the class’s property. An attack upon an argument is not an attack on the person who presents the argument or defends it.
A discussion simply cannot stand as a series of discontinuous assertions. One statement should logically follow another. This demands the development of the dual skill of listening and thinking at the same time. This is not easy. Good talkers are often terrible at discussion because they have not learned to listen. Another problem for continuity is people who “argue” by beating each other over the head with opinions, while neither fully understands the other, In order to eliminate this problem, one should always be able to state to another person’s satisfaction, the latter’s position in the discussion. If a discussion is continuous, any participant should be able, at any time, to summarize the development of the argument. If s/he cannot, it is because he is not paying attention or because the discussion is disjointed. Again, the only excuse for participating in the discussion is having done the reading/thinking. Many non-participants use the I-don’t-know-enough approach. In a discussion where s/he is prepared, this is irresponsible. A discussion is absolutely dependent upon as full participation as possible. Don’t be bashful; join right in!
Hence course objectives focus on you as much as the instructors and TAs. We seek to assess the place and meanings of sport in North American society; to interrogate sport (to problematize that which is often taken for granted); to become familiar with sociological, historical and other disciplinary approaches that will facilitate our work; and to develop critical reading, thinking, and writing skills.
You will wish to consult the style guide that will inform your writing and paper organization: Kate Turabian, Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). Call # is LB2369.T8 1996, in reference in Stauffer. Earlier editions are usually available in second-hand bookstores—let your fingers do the walking! For those of you who feel the need for more work on writing, see William Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style and William Zinnser, On Writing Well. The professor swears by both. There is also a Writing Centre on campus where you might discuss your work. And receive help.
MARKS (Karl, Groucho, and Otherwise):
Your grades will be computed as follows:
(20%) A position paper (editorial, column, letter to the editor) on a subject of interest and importance in the context of contemporary sport, which takes a point of view and makes a sustained argument. 750 words (roughly 3 pp.), double-spaced in 12-point font. Due in class on February 4.
(30%) A term essay on a topic to be chosen in consultation with the professor or TAs. Appropriate topics and formats will be discussed in class. Due in class on March 10.
(20%) Group presentation – groups of five, chosen by the instructor, will prepare a poster presentation on a piece of primary sociological or historical research. The dates are March 26 and 28. The presentation will take a good part of both days—we’ll do it in conference format. We shall discuss the logistics of group work in class—emphasizing the design and presentation of a study. The mark here reflects my judgment on the poster itself, TA input, and on your colleagues’ assessments of your contribution to the group process.
(30%) Final exam-- TBA. Everything is fair game—videos, speakers, lectures, readings, and assignments. Short answer and essay. No multiple choice or true/false. Your chance to shine as a thinker!
(5%) Surprise bonus possibilities throughout the year; you are also encouraged to participate on the bulletin board.
SOME OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES:
Keep hard copy of your assignments, your notes, your rough drafts, and your disk copies. Sometimes things get lost. (The webmistress also strongly recommends emailing a copy to yourself on an offsite server: Gmail, Hotmail, YahooMail...)
Familiarize yourself with the code of conduct on plagiarism and academic dishonesty in the Queen’s University Calendar (pp. vi-vii).
Hand assignments in on time. Do not slide assignments under office doors.
COURSE TEXT AND READINGS: There is only one assigned text for the class, Jay Coakley and Peter Donnelly, Sports in Society: Issues & Controversies (First Canadian Edition, McGraw-Hill Ryerson 2004). The book is expensive, yes, but I note here that I often assign several books per course, that total $250 or more. Related readings, announced at Tuesday lectures, or referenced in notes in Coakley and Donnelly, will either be on reserve or available in the larger Stauffer Library collection. Given Stauffer Reserve’s reserve in putting texts on reserve, there will be one or two copies of the text available—hence the need to purchase the book either individually or as groups of friends (a way to make friends)? I am also much interested in your ability to research and discover. Browse, the ‘net, believe in serendipity—link and connect—use ingenuity and creativity……
CLASS SCHEDULE (roughly follows Coakley and Donnelly, and is, of course, subject to change…..)
|Week of January 7:|| Introduction, Terms, Strategies|
Read Chapters 1 & 2
|Week of January 14:|| Historical Overview/Culture|
Read Chapter 3
|Week of January 21:|| Sport, Social Organization, and Socialization|
Read Chapters 4 & 5
|Week of January 28:|| Sport and Deviance|
Read Chapter 6
|Week of February 4:|| Tutorials with Professor and TAs|
**Essay proposal and position paper due
|Week of February 11:||Deviance and Violence in Sport|
Read Chapters 6 & 7
|Week of February 18:||CARIBBEAN SUNBURN WEEK|
|Week of February 25:||Gender and Sexuality|
Read Chapter 8
|Week of March 3:||Race, Ethnicity and Sport|
Read Chapter 9
|Week of March 10:|| Sport, Education, Class and Economics|
Read Chapters 10 & 11
|Week of March 17:|| Sport, Media, Politics, and Religion|
Read Chapters 12 & 13
|Week of March 24:||Poster presentations|
|Week of March 31:|| High School and University Sport; The Future|
Read Chapters 14 & 15
|FINAL EXAMINATION||TO BE ANNOUNCED|
You can download this syllabus in MSWord format here.