follow the instruction (HS or College Sports Paper)

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This is a three to five page paper on varsity sports in U.S. schools. The paper must focus on sociological issues such as gender equity, gender relations, race or ethnic relations, peer group relations, the culture and social organization of social life at the school, the experiences of athletes, coach-athlete relationships, media coverage, the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in social life atthe school, the experiences of “non-athletes” or those who play non-varsity sports, etc.

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High School or College Sports Project

This is a three- to five-page APA style paper on varsity sports in U.S. schools. The paper must focus
on sociological issues such as gender equity, gender relations, race or ethnic relations, peer group
relations, the culture and social organization of social life at the school, the experiences of athletes,
coach-athlete relationships, media coverage, the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in social life at
the school, the experiences of “non-athletes” or those who play non-varsity sports, etc.

The following guide sheet will help you conceptualize your paper:

The paper may be organized around your (sociological) interests, but it is important to consider
two or more of the following topics in your paper:
• Gender equity and/or gender relations (on the court, in the stands, coach-athlete relations)
• Race or ethnic relations (racial and ethnic makeup of team, fans, etc.; who sits with whom and

who talks with whom?)
• Peer group relations (cliques, groups, friendships; interaction at halftime, during the game,

cheering)
• How the social activity in the stands represents the culture and social organization of social life at

the school
• Social class issues in the stands or related to participation in the sport
• Sports and popularity in the student culture at the school (for males, for females)
• The experiences of athletes (if you can talk with athletes after the game or apart from the game,

ask them about their experiences and how they fit with the overall experience of going to school,
related with other students, teachers, etc. Is there hazing on the team, and if so, what does it
involve? What commitments do students have to make to play on the sport team?)

• Coach-athlete relationships (autocratic or democratic, positive or negative, coach behavior with
players, extent to which players make decisions or control the game)

• Media coverage (compared to other varsity sports and other schools)
• The dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in social life at the school, the experiences of

“nonathletes” or those who play non-varsity sports. Do varsity sports contribute to social unity in

the school or do they create divisions? Is there bullying in the school, and are athletes involved?
• Cheerleaders and pep club (what they do, when, responses to them; how they define their

experiences; criteria for being a cheerleader or pep club member)
• Spectators, including parents, other students, and teachers (talk with them if possible and ask

them how they see varsity sports fitting into the school; ask them if they would rather see more

inclusive programs related to lifetime sports for more students)
• Information from student spectators (What brings them to the game? What do they enjoy most?

When is it most exciting or boring? What other sports do they attend or play? What would change
if there were no varsity sports? Do they have intramural sports? How do athletes and other
students get along?)

• Information from teachers (How do they see sports fitting in to the overall educational experiences
of students?)

• For college sports: Funding issues, attitudes related to the use of student fees to support the
program; all the above issues also

• Other issues:
o Who is left out of the experience? (students with disabilities, students who are smaller in

size, eligibility issues?)
o Who in the school benefits the most or the least from varsity sports?
o Would anyone like to see alternatives to varsity sports? What alternatives might they want

to see?

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