Sociology of Sport and Active Recreation

Unit code: SSM2205 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
Footscray Park


This unit invites students to think sociologically about sport and active recreation. Key sociological themes and issues are covered, enabling an understanding of the contemporary social world and how it shapes sport and active recreation. Through this knowledge, students are encouraged to critically examine some of the pressing social challenges concerning sport and active recreation in both the Global North and the Global South.

The ideas developed in this unit are essential to an understanding of sport and active recreation planning, programming, management, leadership and marketing, all of which are fundamental processes utilised in the rest of the course. How can sport "make a difference" in society beyond the playing field? Why there are sports identified as boys or girls sports. How do different sports organisations and cultures experience and respond to violence, racism and performance-enhancing drug use? How do professionalisation and commercialisation reshape amateur and community expressions of sport?

Case studies will be used and relevant sociological theories and concepts put to work. Assessments and exercises will allow students to focus on a chosen aspect of sport, and on particular sports of their interest.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Identify various approaches to sport and active recreation in recent sociological work;
  2. Critically analyse sociological perspectives on sport and recreation in contemporary Australia;
  3. Use sociological theories, concepts and methods to analyse and think creatively about empirical problems in relation to contemporary sport in a range of local and global contexts
  4. Communicate sociological ideas about sport and active recreation effectively in oral and written formats, including blogs.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Other
Grade: 20%
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 30%
Sociological reflection
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 20%
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 30%
Class presentation

Required reading

Various articles, book chapters and online and audio-visual materials will be used in the course. Electronic copies of, or links to, the required readings will be made available to students on VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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