Introduction to the Study of Sport and Leisure in Society

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
SPSC 1105
Introduction to the Study of Sport and Leisure in Society
Sport Science
Science & Technology
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Contact Hours

4 hour lecture / seminar / tutorial

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

May include the following:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Peer-led
  • Field-trips
  • Case-study analysis
  • Problem-based
  • Inquiry-based
  • Small-group
  • Experiential learning
  • Guest speakers
  • Technology assisted learning
  • Hybrid
Course Description
This course introduces the study of sport and leisure in society. Students will develop critical thinking skills while considering the social, cultural, political and economic structures of sport in contemporary society.
Course Content

1. Defining sport, physical activity and leisure from a socio-cultural perspective, incorporating key terms and concepts, such as:

  1.1 The sociological imagination

  1.2 Agency vs. structure

  1.3 Ideologies

  1.4 The sport ethic

2. Sociological theories and perspective on the study of sport, such as:

  2.1 Functionalism

  2.2 Hegemony

  2.3 Conflict theory

  2.4 Critical theory

  2.5 Interactionism

  2.6 Feminist theories

  2.7 Post-structuralism

3. Sport and education
4. Children and youth sport
5. Sport and social class
6. Sex, gender and sexuality in sport
7. Race and ethnicity in sport
8. Sport and the media
9. Sport, violence and deviance
10. Sport politics and policy
11. Sport, globalization and nationalism/identity

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking skills in relation to topics in the area of sport and leisure.
  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of key theoretical approaches to the study of sport in society and how to apply them to study relevant issues and phenomena in sport.
  3. Identify and discuss issues in sport and leisure as they relate to societal values, education, sporting ideologies, social class, gender, race/ethnicity, identity, politics, the economy and the media.
  4. Identify ways leisure and sport experiences can both enable and constrain the development of individuals and society.
  5. Discuss future possibilities in the field of sport and leisure from a sociological perspective.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:

Individual/small group project 15-25%
In-class/online discussion forums 0-25%
Mid-term exam(s) 15-40%
Group project 15-40%
Professionalism and class contributions 0-10%
Textbook Materials

Consult the Douglas College Bookstore for the latest required textbooks and materials. Example textbooks and materials may include:

  • Course pack: SPSC 1105: An Introduction to the Study of Sport

  • Coakley, J. & Donnelly, P. (Current Edition). Issues and controversies: Sports in Society: Canadian Edition. Toronto: McGraw Hill Ryerson.
  • Crossman, J. & Scherer, J. (Current Edition) Social dimensions of Canadian sport and physical activity. Toronto, ON: Pearson.