STANDING TALL CRITICAL BOOK REVIEW – DUE TUESDAY, MAY 3 (70 points)
Length 1750 – 2250 WORDS or 7 – 9 TYPED PAGES (APA CITATIONS)
After this course is over, you should be able to identify major themes, storylines, and underlying ideology in US sports. One of the many ways in which we learn about sport is through auto- and biographies of our sport heroes. Yet, (auto-)biographies are not void of ideology. This assignment is designed to provide you with a space to practice your analytical skills.
This assignment is a multi-dimensional assignment which is designed to allow you to investigate a variety of ideological issues present in or absent from Standing Tall. In this assignment you will identify the major themes present in the text, discuss major themes absent from the text, explain the power relationships at play, and demonstrate your understanding of key course content.
Remember that critical does not mean to criticize. A critical review summarizes, explains, and analyzes. Be sure to address the following questions, but remember to write a coherent essay. Identify key themes or arguments and use these questions to back-up your argument(s).
Where are the power struggles in the book?
What types of structural inequities did Stringer face?
How do gender, race, social class, sexuality, disability, and age matter in her life?
How do these things interact with one another in her life?
Why is the book written in the manner that it is?
How are we supposed to feel after reading the book? Why? How does Stringer achieve this through her writing?
What is missing from the book?
Where do we see Stringer investing in ideologies? Where do we see Stringer challenging ideologies?
Example of one (of many) element/angle you might want to pursue in your review:
• Ask yourself, how does Stringer discuss issues of sexuality in her text?
• Why might there be silences/omissions in this area?
• How could you connect this to issues of power and to course content?
• (Think about homophobia in women’s sports, Training Rules, negative recruiting, stereotypes about women in sport, women in coaching, her status as a single/widowed woman in sport)
WHAT IS A CRITICAL REVIEW?
• When you are asked to write a critical review of a book or article, you will need to identify, summarize, and evaluate the ideas and information the author has presented. In other words, you will be examining another person’s thoughts on a topic from your point of view.
• Your stand must go beyond your “gut reaction” to the work and be based on your knowledge (readings, lecture, experience) of the topic as well as on factors such as criteria stated in your assignment or discussed in class.
• Make your stand clear at the beginning of your review, in your evaluations of specific parts, and in your concluding commentary.
• Remember that your goal should be to make a few key points about the book or article, not to discuss everything the author writes.