History Of Sports

Answer two prompts.  Write 1,000-1,250 words on each.  If you cite something from the course readings, cite author and page number.  If you bring in something from elsewhere, give a full footnote (any style).  Be sure to expand on the questions, using them to answer the larger issues raised in the course. 1.      Do you think Nazi/fascist sport and Soviet sport had much in common?  If not, how were they different?  Which was more successful in fulfilling the needs of their respective regimes and their populations?  What were the differences on matters of class, gender and race? 2.      Which of the three historical categories of class, race and gender is most useful in analyzing and studying sports history?  Give concrete examples of how one, another or a combination of all of them can explain modern sport. 3.      Trace the evolution of the practices of amateur and professional sports.  How was each concept or approach defined, or were they ever truly defined?  How did they evolve? How did these questions effect relations among social classes in the various places where sport emerged? 4.         Why do you think soccer was long unable to become one of the big-time sports in the United States?  Is there such a thing as American sporting exceptionalism?  Does it have anything to do with larger American exceptionalism?  Is there such a thing as American exceptionalism?  5.      How did modern sport come to be historically constructed as largely male?  What purposes             did that bastion serve?  How did it come to be challenged?  How successful have those challenges been?  Is there more to be done? 6.      What role did sports play in the various phases of globalization that emerged during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?  Did sports drive the process of globalization or did globalization come to focus on sports as a way to spread its various “benefits”? 7.      Do you think modern sport is largely an activity particular to cities?  How did the city impact the evolution of sporting practices, and how did those practices impact the evolution of modern cities?   8.       Historically, was sport a post-racial sphere in which talent exclusively determined success?  What roles did sports play in the global evolution of race relations throughout the world over the last two centuries? 9.      Were sports the real opiate of the working masses?  Did minds filled with sports trivia become diverted from the “class struggle”?  If yes, say why.  If no, say why not and how did this change? 10.     Which mega-event tells us more about the character of nations and social/political systems, the Olympic Games or the men’s soccer World Cup?  Elaborate 11.     Do you believe that the political right or the political left was more effective in making use of sports for political purposes?  Do not limit your answer to a single time and place.  Did different sports appeal to different social groups?  Expand 12.     Where did soccer come from?  How did it evolve and then spread to the rest of the world?  In which parts of the globe did it find most acceptance?  In which parts of society did it find most acceptance?  Why do you think it found such an immense audience? 13.     Was modern sport a creation of Victorian Britain?   How did it spread to the rest of the world?  Can you think of sports that began in other places and then spread out globally?  In other words, were there other paths sports globalization took? 14.     What role did race play in the evolution of modern sport?  Was the USA the only place where issues of race were important?  What were the power relations among races in various places and times?

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