Sociology of Sport

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Sociology of Sport

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Sociology, Sport and Leisure Sciences, Sports Management

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    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.

    Course 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

    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

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.