SOC 217 Spring 2013 Race(ing) Sports: Issues, Themes and Representations of Black Athletes (D)

Cross Listed as AFR217, ENGL215, AMST217
Althea Gibson to the Williams Sisters. Julius (Dr. J) Irving to Michael Jordan. Jesse Owens to Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Throughout the 20th century, black athletes have broken through Jim Crow restraints, challenged racial stereotypes, and taken their sports to new heights of achievement. In this course, students will explore a range of black athletes in the 20th century, paying particular attention to the attitudes, stereotypes and experiences they endured. In addition, this course will prompt students to analyze the representation, perception, and commodification of black athletes in popular media forms. Students will trace trends, shifts and themes in representations of blackness across different sports and historical periods. Topics under study may include resistance against and affirmation of athletes as role models, racial slurs in sports broadcasting, common themes in commercialized images of the black male athlete, and distinctions in media coverage based on race and gender. Texts will include everything from critical essays and sociological studies to commercials and documentary films. In their final projects, students may put their newfound knowledge to the test by exploring their campus or hometown to investigate the role that race plays on their own playing field. This EDI course explores the experiences and expressions of the culturally diverse peoples of African descent in the New World, as well as the myriad ways in which representations of black athleticism are manipulated to increase financial strength and institutional power, reaffirm dominant U.S. and/or European hierarchies of race, gender and class, and signal inequality in order to combat it.
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based upon class participation, short weekly reading and/or listening assignments, one 5-page paper, final group project
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Prerequisites: none; open to all
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AFR, AMST or SOC
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity
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Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 3270
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
SOC217-01(S) LEC Race(ing) Sports:Black Athlete (D) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity Initiative Rashida K. Braggs
WF 11:00 AM-12:15 PM Griffin 2 3270
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