Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Barbara Coventry

SOCIOLOGY 2980:  The Sociology of Sport

Barbara Thomas Coventry, Ph.D.                                                             Summer 2004

OFFICE HOURS: after my M-TR 9:50-11:30 class as needed

Office:  2680F University Hall    PHONE:  419-530-4299                 



This course will encourage students to look beyond the athletic performances and box scores to explore sports as a social phenomenon. We will study sports as a microcosm of our society, examining many of the same sociological issues within the framework of sports that exist in society as whole. More specifically, we will consider the cultural aspects of sport, how sports are related to social institutions (such as education, politics, and economics) and how sports affect and are affected by social inequality (race, class, and gender inequality). Students will be required to think critically about sports, and to identify and analyze social issues related to sports in our society.


Eitzen, Stanley D. and George H. Sage. 2003. Sociology of North American Sport. 7th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill.


Self-Introductory Message. Students are required to post a message introducing themselves. You can find my introductory message in the “Get Started” element of this class. In the message, students can discuss their educational and/or sports backgrounds, addressing the question: Why are interested in sociology and/or sport? Also, indicate if you are presently located in the Toledo. If you are not in the Toledo area, please indicate where you are. Your introductory message must be posted by midnight Saturday of the first week and is worth 5% of your grade.

Quiz. A quiz will be given to help prepare students for the midterm. The quiz will be true-false, multiple-choice, and /or short answer format. The quiz will be taken on-line and will only be available on Sunday and Monday of the second week. Once you start to take the quiz, the system will only give you 15 minutes to take the quiz, so be prepared. The quiz will account for 5% of your final grade.

Examinations. There will be a midterm and final exam. The exams will consist of true-false, multiple-choice, and /or short answer questions. The midterm will be available for students on Thursday and Friday of the third week and the final exam will be available Thursday and Friday of the sixth week. Students must take the exams at proctored sites. If you are in the Toledo area, I will proctor the midterm on Thursday evening at 6:30 on campus. I will notify you of the exact place at least a week before the midterm. I will proctor the final exam on Thursday morning at 9:50am in Room 1180 in the Student Classroom Annex. If you are outside the Toledo area, you must contact me immediately regarding the proctoring of your midterm and final exams. The midterm will worth 25% and the final exam 25% of your final grade.

On-Line Discussions. Students will be required to post a minimum of 12 discussion comments on the course website. Comments can be about an assigned reading, current events, or anything else related to the Sociology of Sport. A comment can be a question asking other students about an issue in readings or current events. To promote on-line discussions between classmates, a minimum of six comments must be replies to classmates’ comments. Reply comments may be critical but should never be mean-spirited or personal. To insure that students write on a variety of topics, only three discussion comments per weeks will count towards the minimum of 12 comments. Credit will be given only for substantive comments. While comments such as “I agree” or “What do you mean?” are welcome, they will not count toward the minimum number of discussion comments. Students will receive one point for each substantive comment. At midterm and at the end of the course, I will evaluate comments on a zero to four-point scale. Comments will count 20% towards of your final grade, with 12% for your 12 substantive comments, plus 8% for the quality of your comments. Students may earn 2% extra credit by making two additional substantive comments.

Papers. Students are required to write two short papers—approximately two pages in length. The first paper has two options. Option 1 involves students watching ESPN’s Outside the Lines or a segment of SportCenter that relates to the Sociology of Sport. If you cannot watch one of these programs, Option 2 involves watching a movie (you can rent one at your local video store) and relating it to the Sociology of Sport. Regardless if you choose Option 1 or 2, students should briefly explain what they watched and then indicate how it relates to the Sociology of Sport. The paper should be more an analysis than a summary of the show. This paper must be submitted by Friday noon of the second week.

For the second paper, students must do an internet search of a topic related to the Sociology of Sport, find an article on the topic, and write a position paper on the article. Students should briefly describe the author’s perspective and then indicate why they agree or disagree with the author. This paper should also be more of an analysis of the issue than a summary of the author’s article. Student must provide the URL of the article in documentation the article. The second paper must be submitted by Friday noon of the fourth week. Papers count for 20% of your final grade.

Tips for Writing Papers for the Sociology of Sports.

  1. Double Space.
  2. Spell Check.
  3. Proof read—spell check does not find all of your mistakes.  Be careful of your use of words such as their/there/they’re, know/no/now, effect/affect.
  4. Write in paragraphs.  Start with an introduction paragraph and end with a conclusion. In your introduction paragraph, clearly state your thesis.
  5. Don't ever plagiarize by copying a sentence without using quotation marks or presenting someone else's ideas without indicating the source (e.g., Eitzen and Sage, your textbook authors; an article on the internet’s URL; something you read in a newspaper or magazine).

GRADING.  Your final grade will be based on the class requirements.  I will weigh the requirement as follows: 

Introductory Message 5%
Quiz  5%
Midterm 25%
Final 25%
Position Papers 20%
Discussion Comments        20%
TOTAL   100%


Below is the schedule for the semester. I have assigned two chapters a week for students to read. However, students should note that some chapters are longer than others, and keep this in mind when budgeting their time. Students may do readings on their own timetable; however, students are responsible for the material associated with each chapter assigned before a quiz or test.



Assignments, Quiz and Test Dates

Week 1

Chapters 1 & 2

DoRequired Self-Introductory Message. Discussions*

Week 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Take Quiz on Ch 1 & 2 on-line (Sunday or Monday).

Discussions*  Submit Paper #1 by noon Friday. 

Week 3

Chapters 5 & 6

Discussions*.  Take Midterm at Proctored Site on Thursday or Friday

Week 4

Chapters 7 & 9


Week 5

Chapters 10 & 12

Submit Paper #2 by noon Friday.  Discussions*

Week 6

Chapters 13 &14

Discussions*.  Take Final Exam at Proctored Site on Thursday or Friday

*Students are required to post discussions in, at least, four of the six weeks.  Students should post a minimum of 12 discussions throughout the semester.
















































































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Last Updated: 3/16/18