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PWR 2CW: Global Goals: The Rhetoric of Sport for Development and Peace

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Catalog Number: PWR 2CW

Instructor: Cassie Wright

Units: 4

Grade option: Letter (ABCD/NP) 

Prerequisite: PWR 1, ESF, ITALIC 95W, or equivalent

Course Feature: WR-2 requirement

Sport can no longer be considered a luxury within any society but rather it is an important investment in the present and the future, particularly in developing countries.

- Wilfried Lemke, Adviser to UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace

Nelson Mandela once said sport “has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire … to unite.” Over the past twenty years, the world has witnessed Mandela’s mantra taken up by countries looking to sport as low-cost high-impact tool for supporting everything from conflict resolution to economic development through a policy sector known as “Sport for Development and Peace” or SDP.  As a leading face of SDP, the United Nations declared 2005 the International Year of Sport and Physical Activity, endorsed the Right to Play movement, and created an official SDP task force that partners with nonprofits to support economic programming and global conflict resolution; they also partner with universities to offer advanced degrees in the field, effectively creating a professional SDP pipeline. In short, SDP is one of the most lucrative and dynamic policy platforms of the millennium. But SDP also has its critics, and the rhetorics used to advocate and critique SDP are as complex as they are varied.  Accordingly, this class invites students to survey the rhetorical landscape of SDP, focusing on current trends and controversies in SDP policy and programming – from SDP’s role in mega-sport events like FIFA and the Olympics, to social, economic, and personal “development – in preparation for asking research questions that explore the rhetorical tactics, and their sociopolitical implications, of tying sport to development in the 21st century.

Major Assignments

Research Proposal

(5-minute live oral presentation; written text of 900-1200 words): Students will read several SDP articles in preparation to develop a working research question central to SDP research with respect to a specific SDP organization of choosing (from a working list). Research topics might include questions concerning economic development and mega sports (Olympics, FIFA), youth development (risk mitigation, academics), and peace and conflict resolution, monitoring and evaluation, among others.

Written Research-Based Argument

(3000-3600 words; 10-12 pages): Students develop an essay that answers their research question with respect to their SDP organization, drawing on research from SDP journals, as well as supporting library research, public reports and media, and possible primary research. The essay is produced in the form of an official report to the UN SDP Office.

Delivery of Research

(10-minute live oral presentation with appropriate multimedia support): Students present their research on SDP organizations live in class in a mock “UN SDP Summit.”

Genre/Modes Assignment

(infographic or image): Students develop an original figure or image from research findings to include in their essay and presentation.