Spring 2019 - SA 352 D100

Games, Sports and Cultures (A) (4)

Class Number: 3086

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 3 – Apr 8, 2019: Mon, 9:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Noel Dyck
    1 778 782-4511
    Office: AQ 5065
    Office Hours: By appointment
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 201W.



An anthropological examination of games and sports in cross-cultural perspective. Particular attention will be given to the social construction of games and athletic activities as well as the cultural, political and aesthetic meanings attached to these. Topics that may be examined include: the embodiment of culture in sporting activities; the impact of inter-cultural contact and globalization on games and sport; the shaping of gender, class and ethnic identities through sport involvement; appropriate methodologies for producing sport ethnographies.


Ethnographic fieldworkers have reported games and sports of all manners from around the world since the founding of anthropology as an academic discipline in the nineteenth century.  Moreover, individual anthropologists have in different places and times conducted detailed studies of specific indigenous games and forms of play, as well as of large-scale sporting events such as the modern Olympic games.  These developments underpin the recent emergence of a vibrant and growing anthropology of sport.

This course will focus upon the social and cultural construction of games and sport in a broad range of ethnographic settings.  It will also consider the distinctive theoretical, methodological, and substantive contributions that anthropology can make to the larger interdisciplinary field of sport studies.


  • Midterm exam 1 25%
  • Midterm exam 2 25%
  • Final essay project 25%
  • Seminar participation 25%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology and 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: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.    



There is no required textbook for the course, but there will be a Custom Courseware Package (available from the Bookstore) with required readings for the course.

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