These additional resources show the ways the editors of The Politics of Sports — Anna Carroll and Eleanor Wakefield — use the readings in Unit 1 to springboard into student research and inquiry. They begin with by asking questions like those in the section below.  Discussion is followed by writing. Carroll and Wakefield have included sample assignments that illustrate some ways in which engaged discussions lead to independent research and writing projects. These assignments are presented roughly in the order they might be used during the term, though they lend themselves to adaptation. These support the major essay assignments that anchor any major research writing project. The editors have included the assignments in the same format as when they distribute to their own students to provide a sense of how assignments fit into overall grading criteria and course progression. They welcome further inquiry about how they structure their individual WR 123 courses when using The Politics of Sports.

Discussion Questions

These questions delve deeper by suggesting ways a breadth of issues that can arise when the politics of sports is the area of inquiry. The questions can also serve as models for developing one’s own questions at issue from which to begin research.

  1. How is the fan perception of and media coverage of sports and particular athletes affected by larger cultural issues about identity? Who has the easiest time succeeding not only in sports but in media coverage and advertising? Why?
  2. Which sports lend themselves to academic inquiry and why? Can all sports be lenses into cultural values, identity issues, and/or politics, and if so, where can one look to find inroads into those types of questions?
  3. How do these texts look like or unlike the kind of sports coverage you are likely already familiar with? What’s added or complicated or called into question when popular sports coverage is compared with academic or otherwise in-depth cultural coverage of sports and athletes?
  4. How do sports contribute (positively or negatively) to the establishment of a cultural identity on a campus, in a city/region, and/or in a nation?
  5. What is the responsibility of the media to cover sports equitably, fairly, without bias, and so on? Or should media reflect what fans seem to like (and how should that be determined)?


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