A Canadian university is offering fans of Cristiano Ronaldo the opportunity to take a course in the Real Madrid star.
The University of British Columbia Okanagan is enrolling for a fourth-year sociology module on Ronaldo due to his popularity and influence on Portuguese and global society.
Luis LM Aguiar, associate professor of sociology in UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, said: “Sociology is nothing if not the delving into the processes of structuring identities and experiences and exposing the social forces that push these processes.
“In this case, I’m interested in how Ronaldo has been used to construct several discourses about who he is, what makes him distinct as a footballer, what is his relationship to Portugal, Madeira (his hometown) and indeed Portuguese identity.”
During the semester-long course, students will examine the stereotypical image of Ronaldo and the Portuguese diaspora.
“Ronaldo is said to embody features and characteristics of speed, strength, competitiveness, dogged work ethic, discipline, and adaptability,” added Aguiar on news.ok.ubc.ca.
“These features are also in a sense ‘very Portuguese’ since the Portuguese outside the homeland are nothing if not constructed as hard workers, disciplined and determined. Even as a global athlete transcending geographical boundaries, Ronaldo cannot escape the stereotypical constructions of ‘the Portuguese’.
“My two greatest passions are football and critical sociology. A course on Cristiano Ronaldo gives me the opportunity to combine the two.
“While I’m an admirer of Ronaldo, I’m also a sociologist interested in understanding the social and economic forces driving the various constructions of this athlete and what this says about our contemporary values and culture.”
Ronaldo is not the first Madrid name to become the subject of higher education. Staffordshire University offered students the chance to take a module in ‘David Beckham studies’ prior to the former England captain’s move from Manchester United to Spain.