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PHSE206 Sociology of Sport

The significance of physical activity and sport in contemporary society and an understanding of the characteristics and processes of sport in the modern world.

Sport is a prominent feature of contemporary social lives, yet critical analysis of its social significance is often shunned in favour of romanticised understandings of sport as a unifying social good. Sports are in fact a product of the social contexts in which we live, and understandings of sport only become meaningful when located within their historical and cultural context.
PHSE 206 is an introductory paper in the Sociology of Sport. Adopting a critical sociological approach, the paper provides an overview of the social significance of sport as a political, economic and cultural force that shapes our lives and experiences.

Paper title Sociology of Sport
Paper code PHSE206
Subject Physical Education
EFTS 0.1400
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $839.86
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,368.00

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36 points
Suitable for students interested in the sociology of sport, sociology, sport coaching, physical education, sport and exercise science. A background in social sciences and critical thinking is helpful, but not essential.
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Mark Falcous
Paper Structure
The paper covers 6 topic themes:
  • Social theories
  • The culture(s) of sport
  • Social stratification: gender, 'race', class
  • The sports-corporate-media nexus
  • Sport, nationalism and power
  • Sport in a global context
There is no compulsory textbook. A reading list will be provided, which details the book chapter or research articles that complement each lecture. These readings will be available online and through course reserve in the library.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, life-long learning.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this paper, students will be expected to:
  • Think critically about contemporary social problems and issues as they relate to sport
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of sociological perspectives and theories as they relate to sport
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the role of sport in constructing dominant ways of thinking about the place of sport in our culture as it relates to: gender, race, sexuality, class and nationality
  • Understand the role that socio-cultural factors have in influencing the form and structure of sport in contemporary society and how it impacts on people's everyday experiences

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41