Field Study

Field Study Assignment and Final Paper


For the first part of this assignment, you will conduct a brief field study of TWO “public” sporting events or sports media events. The events should not require any type of membership to attend. This can include anything from attending a football game to watching an Extreme Sports broadcast at a local sports bar to participating in a free community yoga class.

The only requirements are:

1)      The events/activities must involve both sports and media (although it will be up to you to describe how, when and why the two relate),

2)      There must be a social dimension to the event (so that you’ll be able to observe the participants).

You will then conduct a field study of your selected events/activities, which will involve either passive or participant observation (see below for details). You will attend the event in person** and record your personal observations of each event based on the following:

        The event itself:  What is the event/activity? Where does it take place (venue)? How long does it last and how often does it occur? What is involved?

        The participants: What is your general impression of the people who attend this event? Who participates in the construction of the event (spectators, athletes, corporate sponsors, organizations, advertisers, etc.)

        Media:  Is media part of the event? In what way? Where does media (technology or content) appear, when and how often? Is media consumption necessary part of participating in the event as a spectator? As a player?

THESE NOTES ARE DUE IN ROUGH FORM IN MODULE 5  (these will not be graded for grammar or spelling or sentence structure they are notes). This should be no longer than 1-2 pages.

FOR THE FINAL PAPER, you will construct a 4-5 page paper based on your field study notes (double spaced, using APA style for any references you might need, such as our textbook).  In this paper, you will use the Strategic Sport Communication Model (page 85 of your text), to analyze your events and their relation to media/communication.

Discuss how your observations of the media/communication in the 2 events differ.  Be sure to identify examples of the components in the Strategic Sport Communication Model that exist or do not exist. You are not expected to give a detailed explanation of why these similarities and differences might exist, but are encouraged to venture a hypothesis.

Use of secondary data is permitted, especially if it consists of a text that is directly related to the event/activity that you observed (newspaper article, blog entry, advertisement, TV news segment, etc.).

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