Fall 2021 - SA 353 D100

Sociology of Sport (S) (4)

Class Number: 6511

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
    HCC 2205, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    Minimum of 30 units including SA 150.



A sociological examination of sport focuses on the role of this important set of institutions and activities in shaping social relations and understandings about difference and identity. Sport has a long history of naturalizing racial and gender differences in such a way as to reinforce and reflect social inequality more broadly. Racial segregation in sport (at least in formal legal terms) is no longer considered acceptable in western societies or in the Olympic movement at the global level. But the power of sport in reinforcing and naturalizing racial inequality continues while the naturalness and inevitability of sex segregation in sport remains largely unchallenged. This course will explore the relationships between sport and social inequality, sport and nationalism, and sport and the economy.


Sport is everywhere in human societies. The assumption that sports remain a neutral institution for defining and demonstrating athletic supremacy is relatively intact in Western society despite research that reveals that access to sport, and the outcome of sport, is highly biased and consistent with overarching social divisions, and politically contested. Sociology helps us see the implicit relationships between sport and nationalism, capitalism and globalization on the macro level, and the everyday interactions of sport and personhood, identity and the body.

We will be reading, discussing, and writing about sports through a sociological lens making use of sociological theories and methods in an effort to gain critical insights of the issues about sports. Through a social constructionist view we will think critically about how people feel, think, and live their lives in relation to sports in Canada and across the world. Engaging a selection of texts by classical and contemporary sociologists will further expand our knowledge about sport and society.


  • Deepening your understanding of sports in society
  • Contextualize historical processes of the development of sports and the Olympic movement
  • Apply critical thinking to the effects of sport in society locally and globally
  • Explore critically key themes from course texts during class discussions and presentations
  • Engage independent library and online searches for the research paper


  • Q&A discussions (2 x 10%) 20%
  • Presentation (2-4 students/class) 15%
  • Midterm exam 30%
  • Final research essay 35%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



You will need access to a computer for additional online/remote learning and uploading assignments on CANVAS and ZOOM. 


All readings will be available through Canvas, the SFU Library, or otherwise online as noted.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.