Spring 2020
Sociology 220
Tuesday/Friday: 12:30pm – 2:20pm

Office: O’Connor 336
Office Hours: Mon/Wed 10:30 – 12:30 or by appointment
Phone: (508) 626-4864
E-mail: isilver@framingham.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

While most people have played sports, we often don’t consider the sociological factors that shape our experiences. This course explores the powerful influences sports have on players and fans alike. We will see how sports offers a context for understanding key aspects of our society, such as religion, education, race, gender, disability, and politics.

READING:

There is nothing you need to buy for the course – everything is posted below!

* Please bring assigned material to class.  Either print it or bring a device to class so you can access it electronically.

READING RESPONSES:

As a way of encouraging you to think about assigned material and to facilitate rich discussions, you are to post on Blackboard in advance of most of our classes. Specific dates are indicated on the schedule below.

To be eligible for full credit, please post your reading response no later than 9am on the date we’ll be discussing the material you wrote about. That deadline will enable me to read your posts and draw upon your ideas in our discussions.  I will give partial credit for reading responses posted between 9am and the start of class, but no credit for posts made once class begins.

Your write-up should have two parts:

  1. A 2-3 paragraph critique of the reading – which differs from a summary. Whereas a summary highlights main points in the reading, a critique takes the discussion in a direction of your choosing. It explores themes or issues the reading raised for you. There are several ways you can frame your critique.
    — A quote you found interesting and why.
    — A quote you found confusing and why.
    — An important topic left unexplored.
    — Strengths/weaknesses of a study’s methodology.
    — How a concept or idea applies to your own life.
  2. Raise 2 or more questions for our class discussion. These should not be “yes/no” questions but instead “how” or “why” questions, since these generate more discussion.

ATTENDANCE:

I understand sometimes there are justifiable reasons for missing a class, but if you miss more than two it will affect your grade. If you have to be absent, please let me know. There is no need to give me a doctor’s note. It is your responsibility to catch up on material you missed.

GRADING AND EVALUATION:

Your final grade will be based on the following:

60%       Reading responses
20%       Final paper
20%       Class attendance and participation

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

Given the Sociology Department’s commitment to maintaining the highest academic standards, students should be aware of the University’s policies concerning academic honesty, which are stated in the undergraduate catalog: “Integrity is essential to academic life. Consequently, students who enroll at Framingham State University agree to maintain high standards of academic honesty and scholarly practice. They shall be responsible for familiarizing themselves with the published policies and procedures regarding academic honesty.” Infractions include plagiarism, cheating on exams and quizzes, unauthorized collaboration with other students, and submitting work in more than one course for academic credit without prior approval of the instructor. The FSU Catalog defines plagiarism as “claiming as one’s own work the published or unpublished literal or paraphrased work of another.” Penalties for academic dishonesty may include receiving a failing grade for the course, academic suspension, and dismissal from the University.

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:

By taking this class, you agree to abide by Framingham State University’s policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity. The University is dedicated to providing educational, working, and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people. The Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (“MCRA,” M.G.L. c. 12, §§ 11H11I11J) protects the rights of all residents of and visitors to Massachusetts to be free from bias-motivated threats, intimidation, and coercion that interfere with their civil rights. The MCRA protects the right to attend school, live peacefully, and enjoy other basic rights.

VICARIOUS WINNING:
THE WIDESPREAD APPEAL OF BEING A FAN

TUESDAY, JANUARY 21st

Overview of the course

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24th

Reading Response #1 Due

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28th

Reading Response #2 Due

FRIDAY, JANUARY 31st

Reading Response #3 Due

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd

Watch: The Super Bowl

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4th

No reading!

Watch in class: “League of Denial” (113 minutes)

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7th

FOSTERING SCHOOL SPIRIT?
EXPLORING LINKS BETWEEN ATHLETICS AND EDUCATION

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11th

Reading Response #4 Due

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14th

Reading Response #5 Due

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18th

Reading Response #6 Due

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21st

Reading Response #7 Due

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25th

Reading Response #8 Due

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28th

Reading Response #9 Due

DISABILITY, ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY
AND THE QUEST TO BE THE BEST

TUESDAY, MARCH 3rd

No reading!

Watch in class: “Murderball” (88 minutes)

FRIDAY, MARCH 6th

Reading Response #10 Due

TUESDAY, MARCH 10th

Reading Response #11 Due

*** REVISED SCHEDULE ***

TUESDAY, MARCH 31st

FRIDAY, APRIL 3rd

Watch: “Bigger Stronger Faster” (Watch in its entirety rather than free clips. You can access the video for $2.99 here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzlBAIE4s1w)

TUESDAY, APRIL 7thR

FRIDAY, APRIL 10th

Watch: Valerie Kondos Field, “Why Winning Doesn’t Always Equal Success.”
https://www.ted.com/talks/valorie_kondos_field_why_winning_doesn_t_always_equal_success

PLAYING THE PART:
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF GENDER IN SPORTS

TUESDAY, APRIL 14th

FRIDAY, APRIL 17th

TUESDAY, APRIL 21st

Read and Watch: Mary Cain, “I Was the Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike.” New York Times, November 7, 2019.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/opinion/nike-running-mary-cain.html

FRIDAY, APRIL 24th

Read: Madeleine Pape, “I Was Sore About Losing to Caster Semenya. But This Decision Against Her is Wrong.” The Guardian, May 1, 2019.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/01/losing-caster-semenya-decision-wrong-women-testosterone-iaaf

OUT OF BOUNDS?
WHEN SPORTS TURNS POLITICAL

TUESDAY, APRIL 28th

Watch: “Not Just a Game” (Watch in its entirety rather than free clips. You can access the video for $4.99 here:
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/notjustagamehomeuse)

FRIDAY, MAY 1st

No reading! But, there are new discussion boards based on the video.

TUESDAY, MAY 5th

FRIDAY, MAY 8thT

No new discussions…all posts for the course are due by 11pm.