Sport and Society: Spring 2015
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TPSM is developing a community of faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students with an interest in sports, media and society. The emerging academic field is broad and deep, replete with questions and issues that require a diverse and interdisciplinary community of scholars to address in a meaningful manner.
TPSM posits that sports and media are two sides of a common coin, revealing (for better or worse) human nature, culture and community in a manner that no other aspect of society can touch.
- Sports (players) model interpersonal collaboration and mutual achievement.
- Media (fans) demonstrates human engagement and collective identification.
As we see regularly (for better or worse), the microcosm of sport exposes any number of human frailties and social gaps when it comes to walking out the highest ideals of competition, fair play and athletic accomplishment. Invariably, unreconciled sensibilities related to race, gender, money, drugs and violence challenge the athletes, athletic organizations and their partisans in a manner that few other public institutions can.
TPSM believes that, collectively, "sports" and "media" precipitates beneficial social change and economic development, though progress can neither be expected to come with repose or tranquility. The stakes on the playing field, after all, couldn't be higher and it's through the unique cauldron of competition that human nature reveals itself clearly (for better or worse).
TPSM engages these issues at UT-Austin by supporting curriculum, research and programming within the related disciplines of the College of Communication: Advertising/Public Relations, Journalism, Radio-Television-Film and Communication Studies. TPSM also supports an interdisciplinary discourse across campus with departments and faculty that share an interest in issues of sport and society.
TPSM's Twitter stream offers the most up-to-date information about the program. If you would like information pushed out to you, please join our email group for the latest on curriculum, programming and research initiatives.