Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    
    Feb 08, 2023  
Courses of Study 2022-2023
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AEM 2030 - Sports as Society: The Science, Ethics, and Business of Sport


     
Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading (no audit).

J. Doris.

According to polling, 60% of Americans identify as sports fans, and 75% of Americans say they work out regularly. All this watching and working costs: in a recent year, Americans spent $56 billion on sporting events, $33 billion on athletic equipment, and $19 billon on gym memberships (compared to 27 billion spent on books). So much time and money spent suggests that people find sports intrinsically valuable. And so they do. But there’s something else going on as well: sport is a window on lots of other stuff that matters, and probably matters more than sport. As a wine enthusiast once said to me, “We don’t spend all our time talking about wine because wine itself matters so much, we talk about wine ‘cause it gives us a way of talking about what really matters.” This course is built around having that kind of conversation: talking about sports as a way of taking about what really matters. The perspectives of sports fans and athletes are very welcome; we can have a better conversation about the big stuff if we have a rich understanding of, and appreciation of, sport itself. But we will want to keep our eyes on the prize – pressing, perennial, and difficult questions having to do with such issues as human nature, gender, race, justice, and – yes – the meaning of life. Given sports’ prominence in our lives, it’s a little surprising that there isn’t more scholarly writing on sports. It’s perhaps less surprising that too much of the scholarly writing that exists has a way of turning dynamic into dreary. We’ll read some academic scholarly offerings, but we’ll also read material from more popular venues, where much of the best writing on sports turns up. We’ll use these and other sources to shine some light on our cultures and, hopefully, ourselves.

Outcome 1: Describe the influence of sporting culture on culture more broadly.

Outcome 2: Identify the way in which broader cultural issues are manifested – and contested – in sporting culture.

Outcome 3: Distinguish how sports and fitness culture impact human well-being, both positively and negatively.

Outcome 4: Analyze how sporting institutions impact the communities in which they are situated.

Outcome 5: Assess arguments concerning social and ethical issues.

Outcome 6: Assess empirical evidence, and the use of empirical evidence in arguments.



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