There are four readings for this week (one is just a few pages and the others aren’t too long either

There are four readings for this week (one is just a few pages and the others aren’t too long either). They revolve around two main themes. Theme 1 digs into the serious things that can emerge from playful things (ie, sports). The back and forth between Auster and Coetzee explores this as does the Geertz article. As you read these think about some of these questions:
What draws us in to watching sports? Nostalgia or dejavu? Do you think sport a kind of performance art? (Why or why not?). You may want to explore the difference between sports as aesthetic vs sports as business. If it’s both, how might we evolve to think about a hybrid version? (I imagine this is a common point of discussion for those in fashion and design). What is at stake in sports? You can look at these stakes from the vantage point of the player, the fan, the agent, the media, or the owner. Coetzee/Auster mention the phrase “pleasure of competition” but more broadly (and read together with Geertz), is there a pleasure in conflict/competition that can only be acceptably released in sport vs in the rest of society? Discuss what “deep play” means or explore your own example of sports as a “focused gathering”.
Theme 2 really focuses on this idea of political economy. Sports may seem like just play or popular culture to some, but as many of you have already noted in your introductory posts, there’s a great deal of money and politics tied to sports. Political economy in anthropology generally explores things like the production/consumption chain and issues of governance and legislation. These seem like very serious issues – and they are. So if we think about political economy in the contexts of sports, we can challenge the notion that baseball game or a football game or a boxing match is “just a game”; these are issues explored in the pages assigned from the book, Sport, Power & Society. What makes a successful home team? I often hear of the decision to move teams to specific cities as being based on economic factors (to determine whether that team or that stadium would bring in money to the city, would garner enough money from the city via fan support, etc) but are there other intangibles that make a team-city match appropriate? What defines a successful home team? CLICK HERE TO GET MORE ON THIS PAPER !!!

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