Cristiano Ronaldo Joins the Class
He’s cheered for, cursed at and chased by paparazzi. His hair, his clothes, his girlfriends, moves on and off the field; all and everything is continually scrutinized by the media.
His face graces the covers of dozens of health and fashion magazines and with more than 100 million Facebook fans, another 31 million on Twitter, he is a top social darling.
As the pride of Portugal and the world’s most recognizable athlete, Cristiano Ronaldo is seemingly everywhere.
Including the classroom of Luis LM Aguiar, associate professor of sociology at UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and where the ‘Sociology of Ronaldo’ kicked off its own specific fourth-year university course. Initial uptake: 20 students.
As a proud Portuguese himself, Aguiar says the credit course is far more than a casebook study of global popularity. Using various media sources, students tackle the ‘sociological relevance’ of social phenomena such as organized sport and explore the nuances of identity, nationality, representation as they discuss ‘the phenomenon of Ronaldo’ across the Portuguese diaspora and no doubt, watch a lot of in-class and very good football.
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