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These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Kinesiology (KINES)

KINES 141 (US;IL) The Socio-Cultural Dynamics of Kinesiology (3) Evolution of cultural values in physical activity from antiquity to the present.

KINES 141 The Socio-Cultural Dynamics of Kinesiology (3)

Physical activity involves the bodily processes that scientists explore, from chemical reactions to electrical impulses to muscular accelerations. Human bodies, however, do not just move in vacuums, they move in cultural and social environments as well as in laboratories and on force plates. The Introduction to the Socio-Cultural Dynamics of Kinesiology provides students with opportunities to explore the connections between sport, exercise, physical education, and fitness practices and the broader cultural, political, intellectual and economic patterns that have shaped human cultures from their origins to their contemporary manifestations. The class situates these themes within the context of kinesiology, the study of human movement and activity. The course begins with an introduction to the contemporary realities and historical development of kinesiology. The class offers a wide variety of perspectives, historical, philosophical, sociological, anthropological, and political, on the development
and significance of physical activity in human cultures.

This course concentrates on three basic areas of physical activity. The course explores the history of sports, exercise, and fitness, the history of physical education systems, and the history of ideas and beliefs about physical activity and human nature. The class offers a special emphasis through the readings and lectures on the social construction of cultural, national, racial, gender, and class identities as well as other manifestations of human diversity in both the United States and around the globe.

This course introduces students to the fundamental ideas about how and why the human environments we inhabit shape our understandings of our movements, a subject that has long fascinated curious minds. Physical activities such as sport, play, and exercise–seem to be universal phenomena, occurring across the time-span of human history and in every known culture. In every human time and place, people have invented contests of physical of prowess, engaged in physical education, and developed ideas and beliefs about the relation of the body to human nature.

While curiosity about the processes, qualities, and meanings of physical activity may be universal, human movements and our ideas about those movements do not occur in timeless, placeless, ahistorical environments. Human movements and our ideas about them always occur in particular places, at particular times, and in particular cultures. They might share a few universal characteristics but physical activities cannot be divorced from their social and cultural locations. This course surveys the connecting points between physical activities and socio-cultural dynamics.

General Education: None
Diversity: US;IL
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2014

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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