2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Andrew Guest

University of Portland
 World Cup Teaching: Making Mega-Events Sociological Learning Opportunities

This presentation will offer ideas and experiences related to teaching undergraduate classes timed to coordinate with the men’s FIFA World Cup. Classes using global soccer as an entrée to academic topics have become increasingly popular in recent years, but seem most common in political science or history contexts. From a sociological perspective, however, global soccer provides rich opportunities to integrate topics such as nationalism, social identity, fandom, and talent development while putting an emphasis on the influence of race, class, gender, and culture. This presentation will also identify opportunities for integrating interdisciplinary perspectives, particularly as related to performance psychology. While teaching the World Cup provides an engaging forum for introducing students to the sociology of sport, it also brings challenges when students bring vastly different expectations and experiences with soccer. But when calibrated appropriately, teaching about global mega-events can facilitate educational experiences that leave students with the ability to watch global sports using the type of critical consciousness that is often at the heart of sport sociology.