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					Active Investigation 1                                                                                 Page 1

                                Active Investigations Group Projects
                         Sociological Aspects of Physical Activity and Sport
                                  Robert Pitter, Acadia University
                                         Wolfville, Canada
Introduction:
         This group assignment was created in the fall of 2001 to encourage students to explore
sociological questions in detail and to help them discover the practical value and complexity of
conducting social research. I have used this assignment with second and third year students
enrolled in multiple sections that range from 18 to 45 students. I use group sizes between four
and six members. I have had positive experiences regardless of whether I assign students to
groups or I allow them to choose groups themselves. So far I have developed 13 topics (more
topics are being developed for fall 2003) from which students chose one per group. Each
assignment requires that they go out into the community to observe and/or collect other
information in a variety of specified settings. So far the assignment has been a very rewarding
experience for me and my students. I found that many students have put more time and effort
into the project than I ever anticipated. Most important, students seemed to have a better
understanding of sociology and the value of social research than that gained through conducting
literature reviews.
         Some assignments are adaptations of ideas posted on the instructor center at the Online
Learning Center for Sports and Society: Issues and Controversies by Jay Coakley (McGraw-
Hill). The protocols are based on suggestions contained in Nina Brown’s excellent book, August
1, 2003 Creating High Performance Classroom Groups. I highly recommend this book for
anyone who has concerns about group work. I have also written a paper (currently under review
with Teaching Sociology) that discusses my experiences implementing this assignment.

If you find these assignments helpful, I would greatly appreciate it if you would let me know via
e-mail. If you have any questions or would like more information about any aspect of this
assignment, please contact me at robert.pitter@acadiau.ca.

Syllabus Description (to students)
Active Investigations–Group Presentation (10%) and Group Term Paper (25%) (35% Total): The
active investigation is a group activity leading to a group term paper that will challenge you to tap your
sociological imagination. You will observe, record and reflect on a specific aspect of physical activity
and/or sport in the surrounding community, discuss your findings and observations as part of an in-class
presentation, and submit a written report. The presentation grade will be determined by a combination of
the evaluations provided by the instructor, the class, and your fellow group members. The paper will be
based on an evaluation made by the instructor and the group members’ evaluations.

Groups will be formed by the instructor and announced on the first day of class. Several active
investigations have been pre-developed to address issues to be covered in the required readings and to be
consistent with the Acadia University Research Ethics. Each group may choose only one of the active
investigation topics. The date of your presentation will be assigned to fit the progress and content of the
course. Term papers are due the week after your presentation so that you have a chance to reflect on the
feedback you receive in class from your peers and instructor. More details regarding this assignment will
be distributed on a separate hand-out.
Active Investigation 1                                                                      Page 2

                                      Acadia University
                     School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
              SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                               Active Investigation Number 11
                                  Organized Youth Sports

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience of observing social aspects
of sport in a real setting and to give you an opportunity to draw conclusions from your
observations that consider the conclusions made about youth sport by literature surveyed in our
course textbook and your own literature review. It will challenge you to use the sociological
imagination as discussed in class. For this project you are required to observe organized
competitive youth sports in the surrounding community. Your observations and interviews can
be done at organized youth games, meets, or matches. You may choose to do an in-depth
analysis of one particular sport/league setting or compare two or three different settings. You
might discuss the organized program/event as a community event, a family event, and/or a set of
social experiences and relationships. See the "Observation Guide" below.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues. Your final paper must include at least 4
quotations from players and 4 quotations from parents. You must also refer to a minimum of 5
peer-reviewed sources.


Youth Sports Observation Guide

When dealing with youth sports from a sociological perspective, relationships become the
primary focus of attention. As you observe the game/event, pay special attention to the following
relationships:

 Player-Player                                     Parents-Players
 (teammates)
 (opponents)
 (on bench w/ each other)

 Coach-Player                                      Spectators-Players
 Spectators-Coaches                                Spectators-Spectators
 Referees-Players                                  Referees-Coaches
 Referees-Spectators                               Coaches-Coaches


In the case of each relationship, look for the following:
 How often do they interact?
 Who initiates the interaction?
Active Investigation 1                                                                           Page 3


    What is the content of the interaction?
    What is the impact of the interaction on those involved?

Also look for:
 How players respond to or deal with adult control?

Talk with at least two players and two adult spectators at the event. When initiating contact with
these people, just tell them (if they ask) that you are a student in a university course on sport and
that you are to ask them about youth sports as family activities.

           To initiate conversations with players, you could say:
            Did you just play? How did you do? Was it a good game?
            How many years have you been playing [sport]? Is it your favourite sport?
            Do your parents/family members attend all your games? How many?
            What was the most fun about today's game? What was the least fun?
            Do you have any good friends on the team? What's the most fun you have had
               together with them?

           To initiate conversation with spectators/parents:
            (If they ask: Hi, I'm _______, and I'm a student in a class on sports and we're
               interested in family involvement in youth sports)
            Do you know one of the players? Your son/daughter? What number? How old?
            How many years has s/he played?
            Do you go to most of the games? Practices? How often does s/he practice?
            Does the whole family attend games?
            Is it expensive? What's the payoff for you and your child?
            Who in the family is most interested in [sport]?
            Does [sport] interfere with doing other family things?
            Do you have any sons/daughters? Do they play [sport]? Do they attend games?
            What does your child do to get "up" for the games?
            Does your child ever become disappointed in connection with his/her play or the
               outcome of a game?

APART FROM THE GAMES:

What kinds of activities among the young people are going on apart from the games?
When thinking about the overall phenomenon of youth sports, consider the following:
       What do players and spectators learn in connection with youth sports?
       Why are the games so important to many people?
       What ideas about masculinity & femininity are highlighted in connection with
          [sport]?
       Do boys/girls attend? What do they do? What do boys/girls do who are not on the
          field?
Active Investigation 1                                                                             Page 4


               What do players do before, after, and between games?
               What do you think is being learned by the children who are playing? What about the
                other children in attendance?
               Are there any social dynamics related to social class or race and ethnicity during the
                event? Is it expensive to play this sport? How is the program and participation
                funded?

OTHER ISSUES:
                                 Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                           Active Investigation Number 2
                         Informal Youth Games and Sports

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience of observing social aspects
of sport in a real setting and to give you an opportunity to draw conclusions from your
observations that consider the conclusions made about unorganized youth sport by literature
surveyed in our course textbook and your own literature review. It will challenge you to use the
sociological imagination as discussed in class. For this project you are required to observe
unorganized youth sports in a playground setting in the surrounding community. Wolfville
School playground is the most accessible site for such an observation. Children can be found
playing on the school ground between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. most mornings and between 2:30 -
3:00 most afternoons, Monday - Friday.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues and include at least 4 quotations from
players and 4 quotations from parents. You must also refer to a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed
sources. You might discuss the different types of physical activity that children participate in
and/or the way in which different games are organized by children. See the "Observation Guide"
below.

Informal Youth Sports Observation Guide

When studying youth sports from a sociological perspective, relationships and how children
structure their games are often the primary focus of attention. As you observe the children
playing, pay special attention to the following:

The nature of physical activity participation:
 What range of ages of children play together?
 What types of physical activities do the children engage in?
 Are there differences in the activities of older and younger children?
 Are there any gender differences in the types of activities chosen by the children?
 How often do boys and girls play together in activities?
 Are there any activities that are more or less likely to involve boys and girls playing
   together?
 What sports seem to be most popular among the children?
 Are some activities more popular with one gender than another?

The organization of physical activities:
 How are rules of the different games that are played established?
 How do the rules followed by children playing a particular sport compare with the “official
   rules” of that sport?
   How frequently do children emulate or refer to well known sports figures while they are
    playing sports?
   What criteria are used to form teams?
   Do any conflicts occur? How are these conflicts resolved?
   When someone gets hurt, how do the other children respond to the injured person and to the
    others who are playing the game?

When thinking about the overall phenomenon of informal youth sports, consider the following:
 What types of knowledge of physical activity, games and sports do children have?
 From where do children get their knowledge of physical activity, games, and sports?
 What ideas about masculinity & femininity are illustrated (reproduced) through patterns of
  physical activity and sport in the playground setting?
 What do you think is being learned by the children who are playing? What about the other
  children who are just watching?
 Are there any social dynamics related to social class or race and ethnicity taking place in the
  playground?

OTHER ISSUES:
                                  Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                           Active Investigation Number 34
                            Gender and University Sports

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience of observing social aspects
of sport in a real setting and to give you an opportunity to draw conclusions from your
observations that consider the conclusions made about sport and gender by the literature
surveyed in our course textbook and your own literature review. It will challenge you to use the
sociological imagination as discussed in class. For this project you are required to observe both
men’s and women’s sports events at Acadia University. Your observations and interviews can be
done at exhibition, league, or tournament games in CIAU sports. I suggest looking at the sports
that have equal status (e.g. both varsity or both club sports such as basketball). You may choose
to do an in-depth analysis of one particular sport or compare different sports with the same
status. You might discuss the organized program/event as a community event, a family event, or
a set of social experiences and relationships. See the "Observation Guide" below.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues. The paper must include at least 4
quotations from spectators at a women’s game and 4 quotations from spectators at a men’s game.
You must also refer to a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources.

Gender and University Sports Observation Guide

When dealing with gender and sports from a sociological perspective, relationships, definitions
and representations of masculinity and femininity (ideologies), and power become the primary
foci of attention. As you observe each game/event, pay special attention to the following:

The ambiance of the event:
 How many people seem to be in attendance?
 What level of excitement does the crowd seem to have?
 What have the event organizers done to promote excitement? (e.g. cheerleaders, mascots,
   encouragement from the announcer)
 List the key positions in the delivery of the event (score-keeper, referee, coaches, managers,
   cheer squads) and identify the gender of the person in each of those positions. Which
   positions have the most power? Are there any gendered patterns here?
 What types of adjectives does the announcer use when describing the game?
 What kinds of rituals do the players engage in during the game? (special cheers, shows of
   support)
 Are men and women attending the game in equal numbers? Do students and non-students
   equally attend?


Spectators’ beliefs and attitudes about the participants in the event:
Talk with at least six adult spectators at the event. When initiating contact with these people, just
tell them (if they ask) that you are a student in a university course on sport and that you are to
ask them about their opinions about college sports.

To initiate conversation with spectators, you could say:
 (If they ask: Hi, I'm _______, and I'm a student in a class on sports and we're interested in
    public perceptions of men’s and women’s university sports.)
 How often do you go to these games? Do you regularly attend the games of both the men’s
    and women’s teams? Ask them to explain their answer.
 Do you know any of the participants?
 How much would you be willing to pay to attend a women’s game?
 Do you think this sport at this level is worthy of more coverage on televison?
 How do you feel men’s and women’s (name of sport) compare to one?
 Do you think participating in this sport benefits the players outside of sport? Ask them to
    explain their answer.
 What do you think about the level of skill being exhibited on the player field/court? Are there
    any lessons to be learned from it?
 What qualities do you think it takes to be successful in this sport?

When thinking about the overall phenomenon of gender and sports, compare your observations
made at men’s games with those of the women’s games:
 How do the events compare? What similarities are there? What differences exist?
 How do fans perceive the characteristics of male and female players?
 Did anyone make unsolicited remarks about sexuality?
 What ideas about masculinity & femininity are highlighted in connection with [sport]?
 Are there any social dynamics related to social class or race and ethnicity regarding opinions
   about men’s and women’s college sports?
 How is the program and participation funded?

OTHER ISSUES:
                                  Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                           Active Investigation Number 74
                           Gender and High School Sports

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience of observing social aspects
of sport in a real setting and to give you an opportunity to draw conclusions from your
observations that consider the conclusions made about sport and gender by the literature
surveyed in our course textbook and your own literature review. It will challenge you to use the
sociological imagination as discussed in class. For this project you are required to observe both
boys’ and girls’ high school sports events at a high school in the surrounding area. Your
observations and interviews can be done at exhibition, league, or tournament games in Nova
Scotia Secondary Schools Athletic Association sports. You may choose to do an in-depth
analysis of one particular sport or compare sports of a different nature or status. You might
discuss the organized program/event as a community event, a family event, and/or a set of social
experiences and relationships. See the "Observation Guide" below.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues and include at least 4 quotations from
players and 4 from parents. You must also refer to a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources.


Gender and High School Sports Observation Guide

When dealing with gender and sports from a sociological perspective, relationships, and
definitions and representations of masculinity and femininity (ideologies), and power become the
primary foci of attention. As the game/event is observed pay special attention to the following:

The ambiance of the event:
 How many people seem to be in attendance?
 What level of excitement seems to be in the crowd?
 What have the event organizers done to promote excitement? (e.g. cheerleaders, mascots,
   encouragement from the announcer)
 List the key positions in the delivery of the event (score-keeper, referee, coaches, managers,
   cheer squads) and identify the gender of the person in the each of those positions. Which
   positions have the most power? Are there any gendered patterns here?
 What types of adjectives does the announcer use when describing the game?
 What kinds of rituals do the players engage in during the game? (special cheers, shows of
   support)
 Are men and women attending the game in equally numbers? Do students and non-students
   equally attend?
Spectators’ beliefs and attitudes about the participants in the event:

Talk with at least six adult spectators at the event. When initiating contact with these people, just
tell them (if they ask) that you are a student in a university course on sport and that you are to
ask them about their opinions about high school sports.

To initiate conversation with spectators, you could say:
 (If they ask: Hi, I'm _______, and I'm a student in a class on sports and we're interested in
    public perceptions of boys’ and girls’ high school sports.)
 How often do you go to these games? Do you regularly attend the games of both the boys’
    and girls’ teams? Ask them to explain their answer.
 Do you know any of the participants?
 Do you think this sport at this level is worthy of coverage on televison?
 How do you feel boys’ and girls’ (name of sport) compare to one another?
 Do you think participating in this sport benefits the players outside of sport? (Ask them to
    explain their answer.)
 What do you think about the level of skill being exhibited on the player field/court? Are there
    any lessons to learned from it?
 What qualities do you think it takes to be successful in this sport?
 Are any of your children involved in sports outside school in a club setting? If so how do the
    settings compare to each other regarding coaching, skill level, excitement, etc?

When thinking about the overall phenomenon of gender and sports, compare your observations
made at the boys’ games with those of the girls’ games:
 How do the events compare? What similarities are there? What differences exist?
 How do fans perceive the characteristics of male and female players?
 Did anyone make unsolicited remarks about sexuality?
 What ideas about masculinity & femininity are highlighted in connection with [sport]?
 Are there any social dynamics related to social class or race and ethnicity regarding opinions
   about boys’ and girls’ high school sports?
 How is the program and participation funded?

OTHER ISSUES:
                                  Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                          Active Investigation Number 511
                                   Sportography

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience of examining and assessing
the impact that sport experiences have on different people’s lives in different social contexts. It is
a chance to assess and show how personal biography can reveal much about the social impact of
institutions such as sport as noted in the textbook chapter about socialization and in your
literature review. It will also challenge you to use the sociological imagination as discussed in
class. For this investigation you will first describe your own personal involvement or non-
involvement in physical play, informal games, and organized sports that you are willing to share
with the instructor and your peers After reflecting on your experiences each group member is
required to interview two people outside your group who are not currently enrolled in either
section of this course.

Your sportography must focus on sociological issues and include direct quotations from the
people interviewed. You must also refer to a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources.

Part I: Personal Sportographies

For this project each member of your group is asked to develop an outline of their involvement
(or noninvolvement) in physical play, informal games, and organized sports (see guide below).
The outline should identify those involved; your personal experiences related to family
relationships/dynamics, friends, school, teachers, coaches; key moments (at least one negative
and one positive moment); intense memories; your current situation and anticipated future.
Include only those experiences you are comfortable and willing to share with others.

The goal of this assignment is to be critically self-reflective as you remember, describe, and
analyse your sport experiences, the contexts in which they occurred, and the impact they had on
you and others who were involved.

Compare the experiences of the people in your group. Identify the common feature of these
experiences and try to explain why they were common. Also describe the key differences in
these experiences and the factors that you feel contributed most to these differences (e.g. gender,
family, location, social class, etc.).

Sportography: A Guide to Writing About Your Experiences

Think back to your early experiences of playing physical games and sports and describe them in
terms of when they occurred, the context in which they occurred, and what was going on in your
life as they occurred. How were those early experiences related to your age, social class, race or
ethnicity, family, and neighbourhood or community?
When children first play sports (or not play sports through childhood), they do so in connection
with ideas about themselves, about their bodies, and about the meaning of their experiences.
Where did these ideas come from during your childhood (ages 4-12)? How did they influence the
patterns of your experiences and the emotions that accompanied them? Have they changed in
your life since age 12? How have they influenced your experiences since childhood up to the
present time?

Opportunities to play sports and the character of sport experiences often are different for boys
and girls and for children from different racial or ethnic groups and from different social class
backgrounds. Write about how gender, race/ethnicity, and social class influenced the sports you
did or did not play as a child. Have factors related to gender, race-ethnicity, and social class
influenced your experiences through your life to the present? Explain as best you can.

Many young adults say that without their parents, they never would have had the opportunity to
play sports as a child or adolescent. Explain the ways that your parents encouraged/facilitated or
discouraged/interfered with your sport participation. Were there differences between the support
provided by your mother and the support provided by your fathers? Write about this issue.

Your concluding paragraph should describe what you anticipate in the future with respect to
sports in your life, how that future is connected with your past experiences and what may be
occurring in your life in the future.

The goal of your outline is to see and describe your experiences in a way that enables your group
to put them in context, compare them with the experiences of others, and to make sense of
similarities and differences.

Part II: Other Personal Sportographies

Have each person in your group interview two other people outside of your group and question
them about their sportographies using questions based on you outline. Do your best to talk with
people who come from different backgrounds than your background (e.g. someone much older
than you who did sport prior to 1972, someone of a different ethnic/racial background, etc.). Ask
them about their experiences and how those experiences were and continue to be related to who
they are and how they are connected with others, where they come from, their opportunities, etc.

You may choose to talk with your mother and grandmothers (or a woman who went to high
school or college before the 1970s) and ask them about their involvement in physical activities
and sports. What factors in their lives encouraged, limited, or prevented their participation? Talk
with your father and grandfathers (or other men about the same age as the women you talk with)
and ask them the same questions. Were their experiences different or similar? Think about why
they may have been similar or different.

Organize the information you have gathered and write a group sportography that you will present
in class and hand in as a written paper.
                                  Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                          Active Investigation Number 616
                            International Sportography

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience of examining and assessing
the impact that sport experiences have on different people’s lives in different cultural and
international social contexts. It is a chance to assess and show how personal biography can reveal
much about the social impact of institutions such as sport as noted in the textbook chapter about
socialization and in your literature review. It will also challenge you to use the sociological
imagination as discussed in class. For this investigation you will first describe your own personal
involvement or non-involvement in physical play, informal games, and organized sports. After
reflecting on your experiences, each group member is required to interview at least two
international students from countries outside of North America who are not currently enrolled in
either section of this course.

Julie Snair, International Student Advisor, has agreed to act as liaison to help you contact and
arrange your interviews with the international students. Her telephone number is 585-1690. You
should contact her at least one week before you plan to begin your interviews. Julie also
suggested that you have a very clear idea of your needs regarding the type of student you wish to
interview (e.g. country of origin, gender, etc.), when you are available to conduct the interviews,
the topics you want to talk about, etc.

Your sportography must focus on sociological issues and include direct quotations from the
people interviewed. You must also refer to a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources.

Part I: Personal Sportographies

For this project each member of your group is asked to develop an outline of their involvement
(or noninvolvement) in physical play, informal games, and organized sports (see guide below for
example of an outline). The outline should identify your personal experiences related to family
relationships/dynamics, friends, school, teachers, coaches; key moments (at least one negative
and one positive moment); intense memories, and your current involvement, and anticipated
future. Include only those experiences you are comfortable and willing to share with others.

The goal of this assignment is to be critically self-reflective as you remember, describe, and
analyse your sport experiences, the contexts in which they occurred, and the impact they had on
you and others who were involved.

Compare the experiences of the people in your group. Identify the common feature of these
experiences and try to explain why they were common. Also describe the key differences in
these experiences and the factors that you feel contributed most to these differences (e.g. gender,
family, location, social class, etc.).
Sportography: A Guide to Writing About Your Experiences

Think back to your early experiences of playing physical games and sports and describe them in
terms of when they occurred, the context in which they occurred, and what was going on in your
life as they occurred. How were those early experiences related to your age, social class, race or
ethnicity, family, and neighbourhood or community?

When children first play sports (or not play sports), they do so in connection with ideas about
themselves, about their bodies, and about the meaning of their experiences. Where did these
ideas come from during your childhood (ages 4-12)? How did they influence the patterns of your
experiences and the emotions that accompanied them? Have they changed in your life since age
12? How have they influenced your sport experiences since childhood up to the present time?

Opportunities to play sports and the character of sport experiences often are different for boys
and girls and for children from different racial or ethnic groups and from different social class
backgrounds. Write about how gender, race/ethnicity, and social class influenced the sports you
did or did not play as a child. Have factors related to gender, race-ethnicity, and social class
influenced your experiences through your life to the present? Explain as best you can.

Many young adults say that without their parents, they never would have had the opportunity to
play sports as a child or adolescent. Explain the ways that your parents encouraged/facilitated or
discouraged/interfered with your sport participation. Were there differences between the support
provided by your mother and the support provided by your fathers? Write about this issue.

Think about how your experiences related to sports overall have influenced (or not influenced)
your life. Write about this.

Your concluding paragraph should describe what you anticipate in the future with respect to
sports in your life, and how that future is connected with your past experiences and what may be
occurring in your life in the future.

The goal of your outline is to see and describe your experiences in a way that enables your group
to put them in context, compare them with the experiences of others, and to make sense of
similarities and differences.

Part II:-International Sportographies

As a group develop a list of questions based on your outlines based on your outlines and then
have each person in your group interview two international students from outside of your group
and question them about their sportographies. In your sample of international students try to talk
with people who come from different countries and/or with different social characteristics (e.g.
students from different geographic regions, students of different genders from the same country
or geographic region, someone much older than you with a permanent residence in another
country, or someone from a country with a different religious faith). Ask them about their
experiences and how those experiences were and continue to be related to who they are and how
they are connected with others, where they come from, their opportunities, etc.

Organize the information you have gathered and develop an international sportography that your
group will present in class and hand in as a written paper.
                                  Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                          Active Investigation Number 722
                          Race, Ethnicity and Social Class

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience examining the sports
experience of people of differing economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. It is a chance to
assess and show how race, ethnicity and social class influence various aspects of sport
participation as noted in the corresponding textbook chapters. It will also challenge you to use
the sociological imagination as discussed in class. For this investigation you will need to travel to
Halifax and observe the activities of the youth participating in programs at the inner city YMCA
and another youth sports facility in the suburbs of the Halifax-Dartmouth area. You must also
interview at least 4 children at each location.

Your instructor has been in contact with Mark Smith who will provide the names of liaisons with
YMCA and another suburban sports club who have agreed to help you contact and arrange your
observations and interviews. Once your instructor has received the contact information he will
pass it on to your group.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues. Your final paper must include at least 4
quotations from children at each location. You must also refer to a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed
sources.

Race, Ethnicity and Social Class Observation Guide.

When investigating race, ethnicity, and social class from a sociological perspective, choices of
sports, the nature of sport/physical activity experiences, and the meanings attached to these
activities become the primary foci of attention. Sociologists are interested in determining what
factors (e.g., cost, access, personal choice, social exclusion, tradition, etc.) influence the choices
that are made regarding sport and physical activities. They are also interested in how race,
ethnicity and social class influence how the role of sport and physical activity is perceived.

1. Prior to conducting your observations you should interview the YMCA and club liaisons and
   ask each of them a few questions to learn about each organization’s program, its history and
   goals. In addition ask about the following:
        General demographic information about the kids who participate in the programming
        Iinformation about communities that the programs serve
        Eeconomic status of the kids in terms of parents’ income, ages of kids served, etc.
        Extent to which parents are involved in the program
        The sort of sports or physical activities preferred by the kids

2. As you observe kids participating, pay attention to the following:
       The nature of physical activity participation
          What activities are taking place?
          To what degree are they structured?
          What leadership roles are evident? What characteristics do these leaders have (e.g.,
           age, skills, formal authority, etc.)?
          Are boys and girls participating in equal numbers?
          Are some racial or ethnic groups over- or under-represented?
          What quality of equipment is being used?
          What type or quality of clothing, equipment do the participants own? Are there any
           patterns in terms of brand names or other features?
          Are any special slang , signs, or gestures used by the kids?

3. When you interview the kids you could ask them about:
      why they participate
      what their favourite activity is and why
      how long they have been involved
      what their future aspirations are in this activity
      in what ways do their parents or family members support them
      if they have any sport heros, who are they and why they chose them
      the meaning of any special signs or gestures you observed
      whether they see their sport choices as being limited and if they would rather be
         playing something else
      whether they think sports offers them the best chance to succeed in the future
         financially
      Any other relevant questions.
                                  Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                          Active Investigation Number 829
                            Fitness and Physical Activity

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience of observing social aspects
of sport and physical activity and to give you an opportunity to draw conclusions from your
observations that consider the conclusions made about the social construction of health and
exercise by literature reviewed in class, the course’s required reading and your own literature
review. It is a chance to assess and show how people see their own bodies and socially construct
their own definitions of health and physical fitness. It will also challenge you to use the
sociological imagination as discussed in class. For this investigation you will need to make
several visits to a place or places where you can observe and speak with people exercising on a
regular basis such as a health or fitness club or a weight or strength training room. You may
choose do an in-depth analysis of one particular exercise setting or compare two or three
different settings and the people who exercise in them.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues. You must interview at least two people per
group member and your paper must include at least 6 quotations. You must also refer to a
minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources.


Fitness and Physical Activity Observation Guide.

When investigating the social construction of health, fitness, and physical activity from a
sociological perspective, social definitions of fitness, health, and beauty and the meanings and
values attached to these definitions become the primary foci of attention. Sociologists are
interested in determining what factors (e.g., gender, peer pressure, mass media, family, etc.)
influence how people define fitness, health, and beauty and how these definitions impact their
day-to-day activities and experiences including their motivation and their feelings about
themselves and others when it comes to social worth and their bodies.

1. As you observe people working out, pay special attention to the social dynamics of the
   exercise area:
    How do people interact in the exercise setting? Do they keep to themselves? Do they
      exercise in small groups with friends? What sorts of things do they talk about (family,
      work leisure, other things)?
    What body types do the people who exercise have? What proportion of each type do you
      find exercising and various types?
    If possible visit your chosen site(s) at different times to see if time of day changes any of
      your observations.
    What proportion of the exercisers are male and female?
      What types of dress do people wear when they exercise? What factors seem to influence
       how people dress? For example, body-type, gender, age, other.
      Are there any patterns to the activities that take place in your setting? For example, how
       structured (routine/well defined) or unstructured (random) are the activities that take
       place? Do people seem to be following a routine of some sort or just engaging in
       activities randomly?
      What exercises seem to be most popular and what parts of the body do these exercises
       suggest receive the most attention from the people exercising? Are there any variables
       that seem to influence popularity of a particular exercise? How would explain these
       differences?
      Other relevant observations

2. After you have spent some time observing, speak with a few people informally or formally
   and note how they respond to you. You may choose to speak to people as a participant
   observer (e.g. as someone else who exercising) or a non-participant, casual observer. Or you
   may wish to try both approaches at different times. Each approach will influence how the
   people in the setting respond to your presence differently.

   Regardless of which approach you take, when you initiate conversation with people
   exercising you should tell them (if they ask) that you are a student in a university course
   studying physical activity and that you are interested in learning about what exercising means
   to people. Ask them a few direct questions about the issues above and perhaps about some of
   your observations. There are a few examples below, but you should develop a more thorough
   list based your review of the literature.

      Do you exercise on a regular basis? How often? Why or why not?
      What do you enjoy about exercising?
      Do you think other people feel differently about exercising than you do exercise? Why or
       why not?
      How do you define good health? Do you think it is possible to be healthy without
       working-out in this or another kind of formal setting?
      Any other relevant questions.
                                  Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                          Active Investigation Number 937
                    Physical Activity and People with Disabilities

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience exploring issues relevant to
people with disabilities–a social group that has only very recently received attention from
researchers and is all but ignored by our course textbook. The project will also challenge you to
use the sociological imagination as discussed in class. For this investigation you are asked to
explore social attitudes and the social construction of disability by speaking with a variety of
different people in various social roles and comparing their perceptions of people of physical
disabilities. You will observe the S.M.I.L.E. program at Acadia University, interview a few
parents of the participants there, and also interview a few professionals in the field of physical
activity. Your instructor has been in contact with Roxanne Wiseman who has agreed to act as
liaison between students conducting this investigation and participants with the S.M.I.L.E.
program.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues. Your paper must have at least 3 quotations
from parents and 3 quotations from physical education professionals/volunteers. You must also
refer to a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources.

Physical Activity and People with Disabilities Observation Guide.

When investigating the social construction of disability from a sociological perspective, social
definitions of disabilities and access to the opportunities and resources necessary to engage in
physical activity become the foci of attention. Sociologists are also interested in how popular
beliefs about physical activity and sport influence how so-called able-bodied people view people
with disabilities and their participation in sport. As researcher Karen DePauw has said, “In order
to understand the “disabled body,” it is important to understand the social construction of normal
and this has created the belief that the problem (of disability) is in the person with a disability.”
She believes that in terms of the dominant model of sport and physical activity there are at least
three unexamined assumptions underlying physical activity and sport especially pertinent to
individuals with a disability: (1) assumptions about the body, (2) assumptions about ability and
(3) assumptions about health and illness (most individuals with a disability might be described as
unhealthy because of an impairment but when the "impairment" is considered baseline and the
focus is placed on the prevention of secondary health conditions, most of the individuals with a
disability are considered healthy).

1. Prior to visiting S.M.I.L.E. you should gather some background information about people
   with disabilities in general and the issues they face in the context of sport. For example, what
   percent of Canadian’s population is made up of people with disabilities? What disabilities are
   most common? What opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity currently
   exist? Each of you in the group may also want to privately write down your personal feelings
   about people with disabilities, exploring what you think might be the most important social
   issues you feel they face on a daily basis. If you have never visited the S.M.I.L.E. program or
   observed someone with a disability engaged in physical activity, write down what you think
   you might see happening at S.M.I.L.E. (e.g. What sorts of activities might they be doing,?
   How much assistance might the participants require? What sort of mood will prevail?). You
   can compare your initial thoughts with the information you gather later and perhaps gain
   some insight into any assumptions you may have had yourself prior to doing this research.

2. Once you done some background research, visit S.M.I.L.E., observe what is going and speak
   with some of the parents and participants. Some information you should attempt to gather is:
       general demographic information about the children who participate in the
          programming (occupations of parents, ages, race, type of disability, community of
          residence, etc.)
       the extent to which parents are involved in the program
       the sort of sports or physical activities engaged in by the kids

       When you interview the parents, you could ask them:
        Did you ever have any doubts about your child being able to participate in physical
         activity or sport? Please explain why or why not.
        Did you have any fears or concerns (injury, frustration, child’s lack of ability) about
         becoming involved with S.M.I.L.E. and the sports/physical activities there?
        Has your involvement with S.M.I.L.E. changed your feelings about your child’s
         ability to be involved in physical activity?
        Have you met any resistance when trying to involve your child in physical activity or
         sports in other programs?
        Do you think there are sufficient opportunities and resources in your community to
         keep your child to be physically active regularly?
        Do your children participate in any physical activities or sport outside of S.M.I.L.E.?
             o If they do, ask them about this activity (is it with able-bodied people or solely
                  disabled kids?)
             o If they don’t, ask them to explain why.
        What support does your child receive for being involved in physical activity outside of
         the immediate family (e.g. do they have friends, coaches)?
        Why do you believe it is important for your child to be involved with sport?
        Any other relevant questions

3. In addition to speaking with parents you must also arrange to speak with a few professionals
   or volunteers in physical education or sport (e.g. P.E teachers, volunteer and professional
   coaches, personal trainers). Your goal here is to gather information about their assumptions
   and beliefs about bodies, abilities, and health and illness. When initiating contact tell them
   you are taking a course on physical activity and sport and you want to ask them about
   opportunities for people with disabilities. Possible questions you could ask them are:
   Do you think it is important for children with disabilities to be physically and/or involved
    in sports?
   Do you think there are sufficient opportunities and resources in the community for
    children with disabilities?
   How would you respond if a person with a disability asked to participate in your
    program or activities?
        o Do you have any doubts, fears or concerns about working with or including
            people/children with disabilities on your team or in your program?
        o Are there certain disabilities you feel more comfortable with than others? Which
            ones and why?
   What are your feelings about integration–having able bodied children/people and
    children/people with disabilities participate in organized physical activity or sport
    together?
   What experience or training have you had concerning working with people with
    disabilities? Do you feel it has been adequate? Do you feel you need to have more?
   Any other relevant questions
                                 Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                         Active Investigation Number 1046
                              Disability Sportography

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience of examining and assessing
the impact that sport experiences have on different people’s lives in different cultural/social
contexts. It is a chance to assess and show how personal biography can reveal much about the
social impact of institutions such as sport as noted in the textbook chapter about socialization and
in your literature review. It also an opportunity to look into the experiences of people who have
been labelled disabled to discover the both the opportunities and challenges these people face in
the context of physical activity and sport. Finally, it will challenge you to use the sociological
imagination as discussed in class. For this project each group member is required to interview at
least one person with a disability (for a minimum total of four people).

Roxanne Wiseman, with the department of Kinesiology, knows some individuals with
disabilities who participate in sport regularly and is willing to help you arrange your interviews.
You should contact her at least one week before you plan to begin your interviews. It is
important to have a very clear idea of when you are available to conduct the interviews, the
topics you want to talk about, etc. before contacting her.

Your investigation must focus on social issues and must have at least two quotations from each
person you interview. You must also refer to a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources.


Part I: Personal Sportographies

For this project each member of your group is asked to develop an outline of their involvement
(or noninvolvement) in physical play, informal games, and organized sports that they are willing
to share with the instructor and their peers (see guide below for an example). The outline should
identify your personal experiences related to family relationships/dynamics, friends, school,
teachers, coaches; key moments (at least one negative and one positive moment); intense
memories, and your current involvement, and anticipated future.

Be critically self-reflective as you remember, describe, and analyse your sport experiences, the
contexts in which they occurred, and the impact they had on you and others who were involved.

Compare the experiences of the people in your group. Identify the common feature of these
experiences and try to explain why they were common. Also describe the key differences in
these experiences and the factors that you feel contributed most to these differences (e.g. gender,
family, location, social class, etc.).
Sportography: A Guide to Thinking About Your Experiences

Think back to your early experiences of playing physical games and sports and describe them in
terms of when they occurred, the context in which they occurred, and what was going on in your
life as they occurred. How were those early experiences related to your age, social class, race or
ethnicity, family, and neighbourhood or community?
When children first play sports (or not play sports), they do so in connection with ideas about
themselves, about their bodies, and about the meaning of their experiences. Where did these
ideas come from during your childhood (ages 4-12)? How did they influence the patterns of your
experiences and the emotions that accompanied them? Have they changed in your life since age
12? How have they influenced your sport experiences since childhood up to the present time?

Opportunities to play sports and the character of sport experiences often are different for boys
and girls, for children from different racial or ethnic groups, for people from different social
class backgrounds, and for people with different abilities. Think about how family gender,
race/ethnicity, social class, your physical and mental abilities, may have influenced the sports
you did or did not play as a child.

Many young adults say that without their parents, they never would have had the opportunity to
play sports as a child or adolescent. Explain the ways that your parents encouraged/facilitated or
discouraged/interfered with your sport participation. Were there differences between the support
provided by your mother and the support provided by your fathers? Write about this issue.

The goal of your outline is to see and describe your experiences in a way that enables your group
to put them in context, compare them with the experiences of people with disabilities. Prior to
starting you interviews you should conduct a literature review to gather information about the
key issues that sociologists believe confront people with disabilities.

Part II: Disability Sportography

As a group reflect on the common themes you have identified from your review of your own
experiences and your review of the literature, then develop a list of questions you will ask the
people you will interview.

Have each person in your group interview at least one person with a disability from outside of
your group and question them about their sportographies. Try to talk with people who have
different disabilities or have been involved with different sports or types of physical activity. Ask
them about their experiences and how those experiences were and continue to be related to who
they are and how they are connected with others, where they come from, their opportunities, etc.

Organize the information you have gathered and present a group sportography that you will
present in class and hand in as a written paper.
                                 Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                         Active Investigation Number 1156
                          Family Life and Physical Activity

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience exploring issues relevant to
physical activity and family life. This investigation is an opportunity to learn about the ideas and
assumptions concerning physical activity that local parents are trying to pass on to their children
and compare your findings to the conclusions in the course textbook and your literature review.
It will challenge you to use the sociological imagination as discussed in class. For this project
you are required to observe, interview and/or survey parents of pre-school and/or elementary
school-aged children. Your observations and interviews can be done at the Kinderskills Program
at Acadia University, the playground at Wolfville School or any other place it is possible to
observe parents with their children while they and/or their children are physically active. See the
"Observation Guide" below.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues. It must include at 6 quotations from
parents. You must also refer to a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources.


Family Life and Physical Activity Observation Guide

When examining family life and physical activity sociologists have been interested in the role
that parents play in the physical activity socialization of their children. When studying
connections between family life and physical activity, sociologists are interested in learning
about how parents influence their children’s involvement in physical activity and how this
involvement influences relationships within the family. They have drawn attention to influence
of the parents’ own physical activity, specific contributions that each parent makes to the
involvement of their offspring in physical activities, parents’ feelings about youth sports, and the
extent to which parents’ involvement with physical activity tends to model or reproduce
traditional gender roles.

1. Prior to observing and interviewing any parents, your group should conduct some
   background research to identify the key theories and issues relevant to family life and
   physical activity. You might discuss parents’ beliefs about the value of physical education,
   the role of sports in socialization and family unity, types of physical activities parents prefer
   their children to become involved in, and the ages at which parents feel it is appropriate for
   their children to be involved in organized physical activity and sport. From your background
   research you should then identify the key themes you wish to explore and develop a strategy
   for doing so including a list of interview questions. You may wish to visit your site(s) before
   finalizing your interview questions.
2. Once you have developed a strategy, visit your chosen site where parents can be found with
   their children engaged in physical activity. Before interviewing any parents, take some time
   to observe what is happening, paying attention to things such as:
    the types of activities the children are engaged in
    the gender of the parent(s) present
    the degree of the parents’ involvement with their child while the child is active
    how often the children look at their parents or attempt to engage them
    the type of interaction that takes place between the parent(s) and the child, verbal and
       non-verbal
    the style of dress of the parents and what it might communicate about their social class
       and other social characteristics
    how the children interact with each other
    whether the children seem to be enjoying themselves
    other relevant observations

3. After you have visited your site(s) and made some observations, engage a few of the parents
   in conversation. Try to talk with at least two parents per group member. When initiating
   contact with the parents, just tell them (if they ask) that you are a student in a university
   course on physical activity and sport and that you are to ask them about their opinions about
   physical activity in their families.

   When you interview the parents, you could ask them the following:
    Do you consider your child to be very physically active?
    How important do you feel physical activity is to your child(ren)? Explain why?
    How active do you hope your child will be in the future?
    What benefits do you feel your child(ren) receives from physical activity?
    What potential hazards do you feel are associated with physical activity?
    Do you do anything to encourage your child to be physically active such as limiting the
     amount of time watching TV or playing computer games, taking them to a playground or
     park, or enrolling him/her in organized physical activities?
    How physically active are you? How often do you exercise?
    Do you do exercise as a family or is each person physically active on their own?
    What do you think will be the biggest challenge to keep your child(ren) physically active?
    What sorts of physical activity do you encourage your children to participate in and why?
    For each of the above you could also ask about the feelings of the parent who is not
     present. If the person is a single parent, you could ask about the special challenges faced
     by single parents.
    Other relevant questions
                                 Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                         Active Investigation Number 1267
                      Gender Relations in Intramural Sports

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience exploring issues related to
gender relations in physical activity and sport and to give you an opportunity to draw
conclusions from your observations that consider the conclusions made about gender and sport
by the literature surveyed in our course textbook and your own literature review. This
investigation is a chance to learn how people “practice” gender in sport. It will challenge you to
use the sociological imagination as discussed in class. For this project you will observe and
speak with participants in gender-segregated and coed intramural sports at Acadia University.
See the "Observation Guide" below.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues. It must include at 6 quotations from
intramural participants who are not currently enrolled in this course.You must also refer to a
minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources.


Gender Relations in Intramural Sports Observation Guidelines

When studying connections between physical activity, sport and gender, many sociologists have
been interested identifying gender ideologies and the ways in which sport and physical activity
influence them. They focus on relationships, definitions and representations of masculinity and
femininity (ideologies), and power.

1. Prior to attending any intramural games, your group should conduct some background
   research to identify the various ways that sport sociologists have argued sports contributes to
   gender identities. You should attempt to identify the characteristics that are traditionally
   associated with each gender and the ways in which these characteristics are expressed
   through physical activity and sport. From this background research you should identify the
   key themes you wish to explore and develop an observation and interview strategy for doing
   so. When choosing which sports to observe, consider the implications of making cross
   comparisons between sports. I suggest choosing like, if not identical, sports for making
   comparisons (e.g., men’s basketball and coed basketball or coed soccer, not men’s tennis and
   coed basketball or hockey).

2. Once you have begun to develop a strategy, watch a few gender-segregated and co-ed
   intramural games of your chosen sports. Before speaking with any intramural participants,
   take some time to observe them playing, paying attention to behaviours that reinforce or
   reflect gender appropriate behaviour (e.g., aggressions, compassion, violence, competition,
   cooperation, dominance, etc.). Before actually attending a game, it might be helpful to
   develop a strategy for identifying and measuring “gendered” behaviours in your chosen
   sports so you can compare them. For example, if aggression is a sign of masculine behaviour,
   you might count the incidences of aggression while watching both types of games so it would
   be possible to make conclusions about the degree of aggressiveness in each context.

3. After you have done some observations, speak with a few of the participants after a game.
   Try to talk with at least two players per group member. When initiating contact with the
   players just tell them (if they ask) that you are a student in a university course on physical
   activity and sport and that you are to ask them about their opinions about physical activity,
   sport, and playing coed sports.
       When you interview the participants, you could ask them the following::
          Have you ever played co-ed sports? If so, which ones? If they say no, you might ask
          why and ask them if there are any circumstances in which they might consider playing
          co-ed sports.
       For people who have played co-ed sports you could ask:
        Why do you play co-ed sports?
        What do you like about playing co-ed sports rather than gender-segregated sports?
        Do you think people play sports differently when they play against people of the
           opposite sex?
        Is there any difference between playing against people of the same gender compare
           with playing against people of the other gender?
        Are there any sports that you feel should not be co-ed (e.g., wrestling, football, etc.)?
           Please explain your answer.
        Do you think there is any potential for co-ed sports to succeed at the professional or
           international level? Explain your answer.
        Other relevant questions

4. When thinking about the overall phenomenon of gender and sports, compare your
   observations:
    How do the events compare? What similarities are there? What differences exist?
    How do participants perceive the characteristics of co-ed versus segregated sports?
    Are participants’ perceptions of the differences consistent with your observations?
    Did anyone make any comments relevant to sexuality?
    What ideas about masculinity & femininity are highlighted in connection with [sport]?
                                  Acadia University
                 School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology
          SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                         Active Investigation Number 1379
                            Pain, Deviance, and Violence

This project is designed to provide you with a first-hand experience of observing social aspects
of sport in a real setting and to give you an opportunity to draw conclusions from your
observations that consider the conclusions made about pain, deviance and violence in sport by
the literature surveyed in our course textbook and your own literature review. It will challenge
you to use the sociological imagination as discussed in class. Your observations and interviews
can be done at practices (with the coach’s permission) and league or tournament games. If you
wish, you may after consulting with your instructor choose to modify the guidelines of this
investigation.

Your investigation must focus on sociological issues and include at least 2 quotations from
players and 2 quotations from student trainers. You must also refer to a minimum of 5 peer-
reviewed sources.


Pain, Deviance, and Violence Observation Guide

When investigating pain, violence, and deviance from a sociological perspective, social norms,,
relationships, social roles, (particularly definitions and representations of masculinity and
femininity), power and social control become the primary foci of attention. Sociologists are
interested in determining if athletes relate to pain in the same way as non-athletes and whether
their handling of pain can be considered to be positive or negative deviance. As you observe
practices or games, pay special attention to the following areas.

1. The management and social construction of pain/injury and attitudes about playing with
   pain/injury:
        How prevalent is pain? How prevalent is injury? How often is pain/injury referred to
           by the participants?
        Do people with different roles describe in specific ways?
        Do athletes feel free to express and communicate their pain and injury? Why? Why
           not?
        What behaviours do athletes engage in to manage pain/injury? e.g., avoidance, denial,
           ritual, etc.
        How do other athletes behave when their teammates are in pain versus when they
           experience pain themselves?
        What circumstances encourage/discourage playing or practising with pain?
        To what degree do these athletes attribute their pain to violence in their sport?
        What possibilities do players feel exist as far as reducing or eliminating violence from
           their sport is concerned?
          What types of adjectives do athletes use when describing the injuries of their
           opponents?
          Do athletes with pain/injury have a distinct status from those who are injury free?
          What types of adjectives do athletes use when describing their own injuries to
           treatment staff?
          What techniques do trainers use to understand the pain/injury of athletes?

2. Relationships, power, social control and pain/injury:

Observe the following relationships

 Player-Player                                     Trainers-Players
 (teammates)
 (opponents)
 (on bench w/ each other)
 Coach-Player                                      Trainers-Coach
 Referees-Players                                  Trainers-Referees
 Coaches-Coaches                                   Referees-Coaches

In the case of each relationship, look for the following:
         Who makes decisions about issues related pain such as:
                o Whether treatment should be sought.
                o Whether treatment is needed.
                o Whether rest is required
                o The severity of an injury
         How decisions to allow a hurt/injured player to participate in games or practice are
            made.
         Who seems to have the most power and influence when it comes to determining a
            player’s fitness to play or practice. What are the possible sources of this power and
            influence.
         How is pain described and spoken about between people with different roles and
            similar roles.

Also listen for:
         What types of adjectives do athletes use when describing their own pain/injuries?
         What types of adjectives do athletes use when describing the pain/injuries of their
            teammates?
         What types of adjectives do coaches use when describing an athlete’s pain/injuries?
         What types of adjectives do trainers use when describing an athlete’s pain/injuries?

Talk to least two players, one trainer, and one coach. When initiating contact tell them you are
taking a course on sport and you are interested how people involved in sport deal with issues
surrounding pain/injury. Ask them some direct questions about the issues listed above. Make
note of the answers and compare them with your observations.

When thinking about the influence of social context on pain/injury, compare your observations
of women’s teams with those of the men’s teams:
     Is there any indication of gender differences concerning how pain/injury is described,
      managed, or treated? What similarities are there?
     What ideas about masculinity & femininity are highlighted in connection with pain and
      being an athlete?
SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT
                        Protocol for Active Investigation Groups

1.   Special Roles:
      Within your groups you must designate two special roles: group recorder and group
        liaison. The group recorder is responsible for recording and submitting the minutes
        for all group meetings (information about minute formats can be found below). Each
        group may designate a single recorder or rotate this position. The group liaison is
        responsible for keeping the instructor appraised of the group’s progress including any
        special needs and/or problems at regular meetings of all liaisons. These meeting times
        will be determined during the second week of class.

2.   Meetings:
      Each group will develop a schedule for a regular weekly meeting time and provide
       each member and the instructor with this schedule. The group is expected to select a
       time when all members can and agree to attend. Unscheduled meetings and
       impromptu meetings that do not include all group members are prohibited. With the
       exception of the first three meetings, students may elect to meet electronically via
       ICQ or other chat medium. Same rules regarding scheduling, minutes, notifying the
       instructor, etc. apply to electronic meetings.
      Face-to-face meetings must be held on university premises or at locations approved in
       advance by the instructor. No location where alcohol is served will be approved.
       Students are strongly encouraged to meet in the sociocultural room located near the
       new labs in the War Memorial Gym. This room is generally available for students to
       conduct groups meetings during the day and in the evening. A sign-up schedule is
       posted outside the door. Up to three groups of students can meet at a time in the
       room. You can sign out keys from Rosie Hare to gain access after 5:00 p.m.
      Minutes must be taken and submitted to the instructor or to your ACME discussion
       group no later than one week after the meeting. Earlier submission is encouraged.
       Minutes must be typewritten and include the following required information: names
       of attendees, names of absentees, names of liaison and recorder, time and location,
       major topics discussed, and any decisions and assignments made. Minutes from the
       second meeting must also include the group’s action plan (see task assignments).
      Group liaisons will meet together regularly with the instructor. Weekly group liaison
       meetings will be held for the first four weeks and biweekly meetings held for the
       remainder of the course until your group has completed all the requirements of your
       active investigation. These meetings will allow the instructor to know what the
       groups are doing, learn of problems encountered or identify potential problems,
       provide opportunities for teaching relationship skills, and monitor progress toward
       goal accomplishment.
      No racial, sexual, or other forms of harassment will be tolerated.
3.   Participation Requirements:
      Productive groups are characterized by input and effort from all members. Therefore,
         it is extremely important that every member attend each meeting and participate.
         Members will be graded on participation including attending meetings at the
         designated time. Missing one or two meetings will not usually have a significant
         impact on the student’s grade; however, missing more than two meetings will result
         in a lower grade for participation. As a group member you are expected to
              o provide input both voluntarily and when solicited
              o respond directly to other group members’ input
              o participate in discussions to make consensual decisions
              o voice your opinions
              o encourage and model effective communication and relationship skills
              o complete assignments and tasks promptly

4.   Decisions:
      In a small group situation where decisions impact all group members, decision
        making via consensus is the most effective way of getting a strong commitment from
        everyone. This method of decision making solicits input from all members until
        everyone agrees on a decision and results in everyone helping to carry out the
        decision because they were part of making it. Therefore, decisions should be made by
        consensus rather than by majority voting.

5.   Task Assignments:
      Once the active investigations have been assigned, each group will need to develop an
        action plan that includes the assignment of tasks, responsibilities and deadlines. Each
        group is required to submit such an action plan with the minutes of their second
        meeting. Below is a list of such tasks and recommended deadlines to assist your
        planning. This list is not exhaustive nor does it include all possible tasks relevant to
        all of the investigations. Use it as a guideline and modify it to suit your group’s needs.
        You should, nonetheless, pay careful attention to the suggested deadlines.
Task(s)
 Task(s)                                                   Start                  Finish by
 1. Choose topic.                                          First week of class    Second week of
                                                                                  class
 2.   Gather preliminary information about research        Second week of class   Third week of class
       setting, answering the questions below:
       ! Where and when can data be collected?
       ! How will access to the research site or
           respondents be gained? What if any
           transportation issues need to be addressed?
       ! Do any liaisons need to be contacted? Who
           will do this and report back?
       ! How will data be collected?
       ! Will any special tools be needed or useful for
           collecting data (e.g., tape recorder, camera,
           video tape, software)? If so, who will
           acquire them? Check with your instructor
           regarding the ethical use of special tools in
           your investigation.
       ! Other questions.

 3.   Identify and secure relevant literature on topic     Second week of class   three weeks before
       area.                                                                      paper is due
 4.   Read and make notes about relevant literature.       Second week of class   Week before paper
       Look for information that places your topic in a                           is due
       historical and broad/global social context.

 5.   Discuss notes.                                       Third week of class    Week before paper
                                                                                  is due
 6.   Make a list of questions to ask and areas to         Third week of class    Fourth week of class
       observe. Be sure to include historical and
       broader social questions as appropriate.

 7.   Collect data from the field.                         Fourth week of class   Three weeks before
                                                                                  presentation date
 8.   Analyse data: make comparisons between each          Fifth week of class    Two weeks before
       group member’s data as well as between                                     presentation date
       everyone’s data and the literature.

 9.   Discuss findings and develop conclusions. What       Fifth week of class    Two weeks before
       observations stand out as being socially                                   presentation date
       significant?
Task(s)                                                    Start                    Finish by
10. Draft a written report (a separate set of guidelines   Three weeks before       One week before
     for this paper will be provided).                     presentation date        presentation date
11. Develop oral/visual presentation.                      Two weeks before         One week before
                                                           presentation date        presentation date
12. Do presentation.                                       Per course schedule
13. Revise the written report for final submission.        Immediately              One week following
                                                           following presentation   presentation
14. Submit a written report.                               One week following
                                                           presentation

				
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