The study of association football has recently emerged as vibrant field of inquiry, attracting scholars worldwide from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. "Soccer As the Beautiful Game: Football’s Artistry, Identity and Politics," held at Hofstra University in April 2014, gathered together scholars, media, management, and fans in the largest ever conference dedicated to the game in North America. This collection of essays provides a comprehensive view of the academic perspectives on offer at the conference, itself a snapshot of the state of this increasingly rich scholarly terrain. The diversity of approaches range from theory to pedagogy to historical and sociological engagements with the game at all levels, from the grassroots to the grand spectacle of the World Cup, while the international roster of authors is testimony to the game’s global reach. This collection of essays therefore offers a state of the field for soccer studies and a road map for further exploration. The chapters originally published as a special issue in Soccer & Society.
Introduction. Ideologies, identities and initiatives: ‘The State of the Field’
1. Does soccer explain the world or does the world explain soccer? Soccer and globalization
2. The aesthetic and ecstatic dimensions of soccer: towards a philosophy of soccer
3. Three soccer discourses
4. Civic integration or ethnic segregation? Models of ethnic and civic nationalism in club football/soccer
Glen M.E. Duerr
5. The 1883 F.A. Cup Final: working class representation, professionalism and the development of modern football in England
James R. Holzmeister
6. The British isolation from world football in the middle decades of the twentieth century – a myth?
7. ‘To Cross the Skager Rack’. Discourses, images, and tourism in early ‘European’ football: Scotland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Scandinavia, 1898–1914
Matthew L. McDowell
8. Soccer clubs and civic associations in the political world of Buenos Aires prior to 1943
9. The history of the Zenit Soccer Club as a case study in Soviet Football Teams
10. Can Hong Kong Chinese football players represent their ‘Fatherland’? The Cold War, FIFA and the 1966 Asian Games
Chun Wing Lee
11. Devolution of Les Bleus as a symbol of a multicultural French future
Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff
12. Cooper’s Block: America’s first soccer neighbourhood
Thomas A. McCabe
13. Rethinking ‘ethnic’ soccer: the National Junior Challenge Cup and the transformation of American soccer’s identity (1935–1976)
Kevin Tallec Marston
14. Soccer, politics and the American public: still ‘exceptional’?
15. Transforming soccer to achieve solidarity: ‘Golombiao’ in Colombia
Ricardo Duarte Bajana
16. Innovation in soccer clubs – the case of Sweden
17. Sustainability initiatives in professional soccer
Taiyo Francis, Joanne Norris and Robert Brinkmann
18. Teaching history and political economy through soccer
19. Soccer changes lives: from learned helplessness
Judith Gates and Brian Suskiewicz
The social, cultural (including media) and political study of sport is an expanding area of scholarship and related research. While this area has been well served by the Sport in the Global Society series, the surge in quality scholarship over the last few years has necessitated the creation of Sport in the Global Society: Contemporary Perspectives. The series will publish the work of leading scholars in fields as diverse as sociology, cultural studies, media studies, gender studies, cultural geography and history, political science and political economy. If the social and cultural study of sport is to receive the scholarly attention and readership it warrants, a cross-disciplinary series dedicated to taking sport beyond the narrow confines of physical education and sport science academic domains is necessary. Sport in the Global Society: Contemporary Perspectives will answer this need.