Since the nineteenth century the USA has served as an international model for business, lifestyle and sporting success. Yet whilst the language of sport seems to be universal, American sports culture remains highly distinctive. Why is this so? How should we understand American sport? What can we learn about America by analyzing its sports culture?
Understanding American Sports offers discussion and critical analysis of the everyday sporting and leisure activities of ‘ordinary’ Americans as well as the ‘big three’ (football, baseball, basketball), and elite sports heroes. Throughout the book, the development of American sport is linked to political, social, gender and economic issues, as well as the orientations and cultures of the multilayered American society with its manifold regional, ethnic, social, and gendered diversities.
Topics covered include:
With co-authors from either side of the Atlantic, Understanding American Sports uses both the outsider’s perspective and that of the insider to explain American sports culture. With its extensive use of examples and illustrations, this is an engrossing and informative resource for all students of sports studies and American culture.
"To avoid repetition, the authors offer cross-references and provide references to other resources on some topics. Throughout, boxes give readers snippets of information about significant figures, events, and ideas along with some primary sources." – Choice, L. A. Heaphy, Kent State University
Introduction 1. An Introduction to the United States 2. The Evolution of American Sports 3. A Nation of Immigrants 4. The Relevance of Baseball 5. Football Games 6. Sport Organisations and Institutions – Colleges, Schools and Professional Leagues 7. Physical Education and Sports in American Schools 8. Professional Sport – Development and Organization 9. Fitness and Recreational Sport 10. Sport and Race 11. Women and Sport: The Long Road to Liberation 12. The Cultural Importance of Sports Heroes 13. Sport, Media, Consumption 14. Sport as Big Business