Sports and Social Concerns

Social Concerns Seminar
CSC 33301

This seminar will explore the vast intersections of sports and social concerns, utilizing a Catholic social tradition lens as a framework for discussion, analysis, and action. In U.S. culture, and one could argue global society, there are few activities more all-encompassing and engaging of diverse peoples, resources, and issues as the arena of sports. This thing we call "sports" offers a unique space to think about social concerns. 

The reality that sports involves vast amounts of media, time, money, people, industries, etc. creates intersections that put various social concerns at the front and center. In recent years sports have crossed paths in significant ways with issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, gender and sexuality, the role of media, the role of protest, religion, collective bargaining, racial justice, ethics, university scandals, and many more. This seminar will explore questions such as:

  • How do sports contribute to our society's common good? How do they threaten our common good?
  • Where does human dignity reside or get compromised in the various arenas of sports?
  • What case studies in sports present interesting and important opportunities for social analysis and reflection?
  • Sports ethics: what tough questions should the public and the sports industries, organizations, and schools be asking themselves in order to move toward a more just and ethical structure?
  • How has sports culture promoted unhealthy societal norms and social concerns? How has sports culture challenged these patterns? For example, one might ask what sports has meant for people experiencing poverty

The course will involve one or two day trips to Chicago and/or Indianapolis where we will engage these questions with those directly in the sports industry.

Fall 2019 class sessions will be held on Fridays from 10:30 a.m.–noon, Geddes Hall 233, September  6–December 6, 2019

Note: This seminar counts as either a Catholic Social Teaching Minor seminar or colloquium designated as CSTS and CSTC respectively.

Application Process: 
  • Application process consists of two parts: (1) completed application and (2) possible interviews (you will be notified about interviews via email).
  • You cannot register for the seminar until you receive registration information from Seminars staff.
  • Notification of seminar placement will happen between September 2 and September 6, 2019.
  • If you are not selected for participation in your first choice of seminars, you will be given the opportunity to participate in another seminar if there is still availability.
  • No admittance into the seminar after the first seminar class.
  • By submitting the application, you confirm you are in good academic standing.
  • With questions about your application, email
  • Final Application Deadline: Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 11:59 p.m.

The fall 2019 application is not available at this time. 


Associated Term: 
View All Events

Upcoming Events

March 2019

2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 8:00am to 4:30pm
Documentary Film: Los niños de María
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 7:30pm
Puerto Rico Faculty Seminar Panel
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 11:00am to 12:30pm
Labor Café
Friday, March 29, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

April 2019

Film Screening: Icebox
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 5:00pm
Postgraduate Service: AmeriCorps Panel
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 5:30pm
Been & Seen Series: Listening to Uganda
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Higgins Lunchtime Labor RAPS
Friday, April 12, 2019 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Labor Café
Friday, April 26, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

May 2019

2019 Service Send-Off Ceremony
Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:00pm

June 2019

Community Engagement Faculty Institute
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 (All day) to Thursday, June 6, 2019 (All day)