Research Paper Topics for HIST466

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One of my biggest passions in life is sports, so naturally the first topic I thought about covering for my term paper was something to do with sports. As we have been made aware of in the documentary we watched on modern Chinese culture, the Beijing Olympics were a huge deal to the Chinese. In fact, the topic of the Beijing Olympics is so broad, a book rivaling the length of the phone book could be written on it. One thing in particular that the US coverage of the Beijing Olympics mentioned numerous times was the pressure put on Chinese athletes to perform at high standards. Some voices called foul on the methods used to train athletes, and the pressures placed upon the athletes, especially against the Chinese women’s gymnastics team. I am sure that there is an intriguing paper to be written just on the women’s gymnastics team, but my true passion in sports is towards football and soccer. Obviously, football is not in the Olympics (blasphemy), but soccer is. As a matter of fact, I personally watched the gold medal match between the United States and China, and remember how competitive the game was, with the score ultimately favoring the United States. The topic I plan to focus on will be how much pressure the Chinese women’s soccer team faced, and what sort of training the women were subject to. I hope to ultimately analyze the culture of a sport in China, how the pressure to perform affects a sport like soccer in China. The trick is to find primary sources other than China Daily that might talk about the views of the Chinese women’s soccer players. This may prove tricky depending on how much gets censored, and what the players feel like they have the liberty to reveal if they do discuss the topic at all. I have found several Western sources on the topic, but not many Chinese sources. Does anyone have any suggestions, a helpful critical analysis of my topic, or any suggestions at all?

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