Sports Studies examines different kinds of athletic endeavor within the context of the broader culture, present and past. It commonly utilizes methodologies derived from the social sciences, including history, sociology, economics, psychology, and other disciplines. To a lesser extent, it examines representations of sports in the visual arts, literature, and popular media like newspapers and film. Among the more familiar lines of investigation in sports studies are the intersection of sports and education, journalism, race, ethnicity, class, and gender. The Joyce Sports Research Collection in the Libraries’ Rare Books and Special Collections is one of the nation’s finest accumulations of older printed materials relating to sports.
Popular press resources such as newspapers and magazines are expert but non-scholarly sources that report basic facts and offer opinions. One benefit of these sources is that they are printed shortly after an event, but they do not reach the level of analysis necessary for scholarly work.