Sport Management Course Spotlight: Social Science in Sport

William Woods Undergraduate

Understanding the social-scientific context of sports is beneficial to any sport management professional. That’s why all sport management undergrads at William Woods take PED 220 Social Science in Sport.

Social Science is the scientific study of human society and social relationships — history, political science, anthropology, demographics, economics and more.

According to the book Social Sciences in Sport, knowledge in the social sciences aids in understanding the problems and potential of contemporary sport practices and experiences.

Take history, for example. So much of what has happened in the world of sports is relevant and directly linked to what is going on in the world, as well as vice versa.

In his article for History Now, the journal of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Mark Naison writes that examples from sports can explain key events in American history and help explore how people in American society have grappled with racial, ethnic, gender, and regional differences.

“In a huge and diverse nation experiencing waves of immigration, struggling with racial divisions and undergoing a pace of economic change unmatched by any society in the world, the importance of sports cannot be ignored.”

Naison gives examples of socializing American immigrants at the turn of the 20th century, the segregation of the Jim Crow south and how it impacted sports, its role in shattering gender norms and women’s access to sport, as well as many others.

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