Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Sports Culture: The Perception of the Collegiate Athlete I
Author(s):Latarski, Adam
Contributor(s):Anderson, Eric
Subject(s):Student athlete
academic integrity
KIN442 S08
Abstract:Student athletes on this campus are perceived differently based on their athletic prowess. As long as the players continue to be glorified and celebrated throughout the community, the division will most likely remain. People support athletics and athletes in an attempt to build community and camaraderie. This forms a hierarchy in which athletes are automatically inserted into once they become part of the team. However, not all of the athletes are perceived accolades or scrutiny. Most of this attention is placed on “money athletes”, or the “basketball and football” players. These athletes attract the eye of the public interest. Public interest and TV contracts cast these students as more than athletes’ representatives of the university. Are there different perceptions by the student body towards the athletes? Do athletes feel pressured by these stigmas placed on them, and how do they deal with those stereotypes? Is the public’s perception related to the division of athletes? Is this linked to performance? Athletes are targeted by different populations on campus because of their reflection of the university; these athletes deal with these pressures with different levels of emotion.
Issue Date:2008
Course / Semester:Kin 442, Bodies, Culture & Society, Prof. Melissa Littlefield: Students participating in this course examine bodies in history, in particular cultural contexts, in international and national forums. Questions guiding research include: What is a body? Is there such a thing as “the” body? How are bodies produced? What do they represent? Who gets to represent them? Course readings vary widely to include anthropological, historical, psychological and sociological perspectives. Student projects focus on exercise, health and sport practices in general and on the University of Illinois campus in particular. The course syllabus is available at:
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-06-11

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