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Abu-Hassan 1

Halimah Abu-Hassan
Olivia Rines
UWRT 1101
Micro - EEthnography on UNCC Soccer Team
People all over the country and world enjoy watching college sports.
One of the world’s most universal sports are soccer or as it’s called in other
countries football. Soccer is one of the sports that have the largest fan base.
College soccer although not as popular as professional soccer, has an
extremely large fan base as well. College sports give the students something
to do together and bring the whole school together. College sports unify
towns and people from all over all in the name of watching good sports.
Watching the team, work together in a way shows on a micro level the way a
college works in the first place. The teamwork is what makes the team run
smoothly, there is no room for selfishness but at the same time the goal is to
be the best individual player there is. Just like in the classroom you must
work well with others everyone knows the bottom line is to do good for
yourself. Soccer is different from individual sports because without the team
they would not prosper, the only way for soccer to work is as a group effort.
I do believe that most college soccer teams are motivated towards the same
goals. My theory was that each school works towards winning their state
championship and then after that the national championship.
For a project on soccer culture my goal is to study the discourse
community and observe what motivates them. For the most part Eeach goal

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is to either bring the team to a national championship or to become a
professional. During my research I watched a practice and interviewed a few
of the players. I tried to get a grasp on how exactly each game and practice
works.
To start off I watched a practice on Friday March 13th. The practice
started around 2:30 but all the players were on the field around 2. I sat in
the bleachers close enough to the players but in a spot where I wasn’t visible
enough to the players. Three coaches oversee the practice. Kevin, Jason and
Kyle. Kevin is the head coach and will watch the defenders. Jason watches
the midfielders. Kyle watches the goalkeepers and strikers. It was raining
slightly, but the players still got things ready ascontinued business as usual.
Some of the team got the balls out, pennies, and water. It seems like the
freshmen were the ones doing the work no one else wanted to do but I could
be wrong. Once the players came out they were in their training clothes,
which were black socks, black shorts with their numbers on it. The field
players were wearing neon and the goalkeepers were wearing black tops.
Before actually going through drills the players pass a ball between each
other in a playful way. The players know that the practice starts when Jason
walks up to them. Jason is warming up the field players and Kyle warms up
the goalkeepers. They start the warm ups for about 15 minutes. They work
on their upper body first. Jogging is next. They do dynamic stretching to end
the warm up and everyone gets water. The goalkeepers are then separated
from the rest of the team and they do different drills. The midfielders pass

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the ball and improve their first touch on the ball, work on their shooting and
defenders practice heading the ball. They did those drills for about 30
minutes. In between the drills the players get water. The team does not
have everyone present because some have injuries and are unable to play.
There are two sets of 11. The team comes together and they have a
scrimmage against each other for about 20 minutes. Once the practice ends
the trainer Sean Muldone takes the team though stretches. They do dynamic
stretching with their quads first then hamstrings and then they sat in a circle
and stretched out the same muscles but with different exercises. It seems
like stretching is very important to the team. Throughout the practice the
rain continued, but they stayed outside. The entire practice they were not
allotted any breaks. Before going in the locker room the entire team puts
away the cones pennies and bottles lying around. They go back in the locker
room, shower and get ready to go.
For my interviews I talked to two of the players one on one. I talked to
Daniel Bruce and Elliot Panicco. I started off by asking the players what
position they played. Both players played different positions but they
seemed to have the same mind set on why they play for the team. They
started playing as small children and neither of them are from North Carolina
originally. Both of them got scouted in high school and play for the school on
a partial scholarship. During both of my interviews I noticed that although
the boys are very different they share the same goals. Both of the boys
believe that they have the ability to bring their team to a national

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championship. The boys both treat each practice and game like business
and there is not much of a playful side to the game. In Swales The Concept
of Discourse Community he describes the six characteristics that must be
present for a group to be a discourse community. Throughout my
observations and interviews I saw all six parts of the concept of a discourse
community integrated into the community. One thing I noticed about the
soccer team during my observations is that the only hazing they had going
on is picking on the freshmen in the same way high school freshmen would
be picked on by seniors. They are almost treated like the little siblings of the
team. The team has got in trouble for hazing but the hazing only includes
things such as freshmen being put to get all the equipment out before
practice.
“The first part of a discourse community is that they have a broadly
agreed set of common public goals “(Swales 4). The first instance I noticed
the team having the same goals was before I observed the players I
interviewed them and noticed that they all mentioned that a national or state
championship is feasible. The goal is also reinforced with the coaches
speeches and written articles about the teams ranking in the country. “The
second part of the discourse community is having mechanisms of
intercommunication among the members” (Swales 4). It is reinforced
through the emails the players get, group messages they created for each
other, newsletters about the team and talks they have before games in the
locker room, on the bus and on the field. The third characteristic of a

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discourse community is “A discourse community uses its participatory
mechanisms primarily to provide information and feedback” (Swales 4). The
whole team uses the scholarship money to provide the team with what they
need. The team is almost paid for their services to the school. The fourth
part of a discourse community is “A discourse community utilizes and hence
possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance of its aims”
( Swales 4). The soccer players use emails as genre to communicate along
with texts that go out to the whole team and group messages within certain
groups on the team. The fifth part of a discourse community is “In addition to
owning genres, a discourse community has acquired some specific lexis”
(Swales 5). The soccer team all has specific language that only college
soccer players use and words that are specific to UNCC. The soccer team
uses a language that is specific to soccer players in general and would only
be understood by those who play or watch the sport. The last component of
a discourse community is “A discourse community has a threshold level of
memebres with a suitable degree of relevant content and discoursal
expertise” (Swales 5). Not only has each player on the team earned their
spot because of a specific level of expertise but the coaches did as well.
People connected to the soccer team whether a player or a coach, had to
have a specific level of expertise in order to gain their position. They all
share similar levels although some have higher skill levels than others.
Each part of swales six characteristics on a discourse community is
what makes a community special. The soccer team at UNCC shares all of

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Swales characteristics and taught me what a discourse community looks like.
After observing the team I noticed that they are just like any other
community serving their own public good.
I really enjoyed reading about your discourse community. In order to improve your draft, I would
consider the following suggestions. First, until the top of page 4, this paper seems more like a
reflection than an ethnography. Your paper should focus more on the discourse community itself
and less on your personal experiences learning about the community. Second, the second half of
your paper (page 5 onwards) seems very rushed and lacks detail and depth. Swales’ six
characteristics should be used throughout the body of your paper to support the analysis of your
discourse community. Third, I would like to see you incorporate your data more. You frequently
made claims but they weren’t always supported by information from your interviewees or from
your observations. Make sure the reader knows where you are getting your information. Finally,
your sentence construction could be stronger. Be deliberate in your word choices and think about
how you are phrasing your thoughts. If you have questions regarding this aspect, either make an
appointment with the Writing Resources Center or come talk to me.
The following is the rubric for the assignment, including what you would have received had this
draft been your final draft. This grade will not be recorded anywhere. It is simply a chance for
you to see where you stand.
Category

Content
(65 points)

Organization
(10 points)
Style and
Conventions
(25 points)

Scoring Criteria
Is focused, clear, purposeful, and meets the needs of the audience
Properly addresses the question, “What are the most important things for
an outsider to know about this community?”
Describes Swales’ characteristic #1 (common public goals)
Describes Swales’ characteristic #2 (mechanisms of intercommunication)
Describes Swales’ characteristic #3 (participatory mechanisms)
Describes Swales’ characteristic #4 (utilizes genres)
Describes Swales’ characteristic #5 (specific lexis)
Describes Swales’ characteristic #6 (threshold level of members)
All claims made are supported. Writer uses specific references to data
and/or sources to support claims.
Introduction establishes a framework for the rest of the paper and
includes a thesis statement
Conclusion summarizes the paper and pushes the reader to think about
specific issues/concerns outside of individual discourse community.
Utilizes a strong internal structure and purposefully moves the reader
through the text
Sentences are all well-crafted and consistently varied in structure, length,
and beginning. Vocabulary and word choice are precise and varied.
The writer demonstrates a firm grasp of the conventions of written

Total
Points
5

Score
4

10

9

5
5
5
5
5
5

2
2
2
2
2
2

10

4

5

4

5

2

10

6

5

3

5

4

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Score

English (spelling, capitalization, punctuation etc.). There are no typos.
Is formatted according to the conventions of MLA
Is 1500 – 2500 words
Total Points

Works Cited

10
5
100

8
4
60

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Swales, John. "John Swales "the Concept Of Discourse Community" | 
Researchomatic." John Swales "the Concept Of Discourse Community" | 
Researchomatic. 1 Jan. 1990. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.