Sociology - Masters by Research Theses

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    The tension between discipline and gift: a study of ping pong elite players in China
    (University College Cork, 2023-05-04) Zhang, Meilan; Keohane, Kieran; Cuffe, James
    This dissertation proposes that the tension between discipline and gift of elite players in China can be understood as a multiple perspective of social and historical process resulting from a political and social forces, rather than biological phenomenon. This dissertation draws from historical sociology, social anthropology and online ethnographical methodologies to critically explore an analysis of the political and social forces that have highlighted the trajectory of institutions on China. A key feature of this research is the identification of institutional approach by employing information and documents that is based on an analysis of original reports on official website and posts on social media. It also along with the archival materials, research papers and special reports. Historically and politically, the ping pong has been used as a tool to construct a new era in competing games. As a national sport, ping pong has been promoted as a “perfect game” since the 1950s, used to develop competitive sports and improve physical health. The Ping Pong Diplomacy initiative emphasizes the importance of sports in international relations. Sports have been used by many nations to build relationships with other nations as a tool for diplomacy. Ping Pong Diplomacy events have demonstrated how sports can break down barriers between nations and build relationships. The gift is analysed the tension with disciplinary elite players. The tension is found to be ‘trained’ and to ‘practice’ every day, involving ‘military’ spirit. The finding is following the structural space and time across context of utilisation. Through the body techniques, docile body, self and power, the cultural politics and problematics of identity are also discussed in this research. The analysis is then related back to the disciplinary and gift binary to contribute a critical approach to social theory, methodology, and ethics in sociology and sports of sociology. The empirical data provides a foundation on which the sports institutional and organisational utilisation in China can be considered in the political context, governance, and social policy. It is also demonstrated by the relationship between party, state, economic evolution, professionalisation, international developments and individual dynamics.
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    Student attitudes towards available learning spaces and technology
    (University College Cork, 2019) Hammeran, Kelley B.; Windle, James; Cosgrave, Michael
    The following thesis sought aims to answer three essential research questions: What are University College Cork student attitudes towards learning spaces on campus? What are University College Cork student attitudes towards available learning spaces on campus? Is there a link between these attitudes and the demographics of affluence, achievement, and disability? A survey on learning spaces was sent to the student population of UCC. The response to the survey was four hundred and forty respondents, which is enough to be representative of a university the size of University College Cork. The findings show spaces already exist on campus that students find useful, but that they are not in supply enough for the needs of students. Students have little desire for extremely innovative spaces and technology but rather require more of what is already available. When it comes to the design of a space there is no one option that fits the needs of all students but there are general leanings of attitiudes. Students prefer overall natural lighting, quiet spaces, comfortable seating, warm temperatures, larger desk space, and uncrowded spaces. An interesting link was discovered between reliance on technology and the student population registered with Disability Services, indicating such students are more reliant on said technology.