You think you know Cristiano Ronaldo? Think again. Then, sign up for a semester-long course at the University of British Columbia in Okanagan. Students will examine the global image of the Real Madrid superstar player, three-time Ballon d’Or winner, Armani model, tabloid celebrity and native Portuguese, as well as his relationship to Portugal and Madeira (his home region).



The Cristiano Ronaldo class is the brainchild of, and will be taught by, Luis LM Aguiar, associate professor of sociology in UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. It will be a part of the fourth-year sociology module.

According to Aguiar, “Sociology is nothing if not the delving into the processes of structuring identities and experiences and exposing the social forces that push these processes.”

cristiano ronaldo, cr7,

Photo: REUTERS/Sergio Perez

“Ronaldo is said to embody features and characteristics of speed, strength, competitiveness, dogged work ethic, discipline, and adaptability,” added Aguiar on

“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’”.

cristiano ronaldo armani, cr7,

Cristiano in a photoshoot for fashion designer Giorgio Armani


“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.”

It may seem odd for a university to study a celebrity, but this CR7 course is not the first.  Staffordshire University offered students the chance to study David Beckham.  Rutgers University in the United States studies pop singer Beyoncé’s influence on feminism, while she is also the subject of the University of Victoria’s School of Music course on female sexuality in music. Skidmore College in New York teaches the sociology of Miley Cyrus. The University of Missouri also offers a course on Jay-Z and Kanye West.

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