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Unformatted text preview: Dwight Bibbs November 15, 2011 Anthropology 101 Ethnography Project The Role of Football on the University of Michigan Campus Thesis Statement and Activity Background On the University of Michigan campus, football is king. Ive had the privilege to spend two different time periods of my life at the University of Michigan. Although those time periods are ten years apart, it is apparent that not a lot has changed in terms of football being the dominant interest on campus. Since I returned to the University of Michigan campus in 2010, Ive noticed that a great deal has changed since I last lived in Ann Arbor in the year, 2000. Now, in my second consecutive year living in Ann Arbor since Ive returned, Ive had ample time to assess all that has changed in the last 10 years at this university. One of the few things Ive noticed that hasnt changed is the role football plays here at the University of Michigan. It amazes me that, at a university that is so well renowned for its academics, that football has been, remains, and may always be the main focus on campus. This realization forces me to ask the question: why is football the most dominant aspect of campus culture? Every year the school admits new students from all different backgrounds that share many different cultures, some of which have never even been introduced to the sport. Yet, once on campus, everyone is encouraged and even expected to participate in the same cultural phenomenon. In light of this anomaly, I decided to study student involvement in the very popular sport of flag football. In my experience, the people that play flag football are the most passionate about football on campus outside of scholarship athletes. I was reassured of this belief when I discovered, through a short questionnaire, that forty-eight of the fifty-seven students I observed owned season football tickets and attended games regularly. Additionally, there are co-ed and fraternity flag football leagues. I thought it important to include these in my study in order to Dwight Bibbs November 15, 2011 Anthropology 101 Ethnography Project compare and contrast the different ways flag football is approached by all male and co-ed teams, as well as the politics that go into two fraternal rivals competing in a mans sport so to speak. I observed three entire games and participated in five others. I witnessed one game between two co-ed teams, one game between two all male teams who were not in a fraternity, and another game between two fraternity teams. I observed these activities over three separate hour long instances in the months October and November. I also participated in five fraternity league games in November and October as well. All of the teams I observed were comprised of University of Michigan undergraduate students....
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