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Not Just A Game: Power, Politics & American Sports
  • Christopher Boulton, University of Tampa
I co-wrote and co-produced this critical tour of the good, the bad, and the ugly of American sports culture. In the film, iconoclastic cultural historian and Nation magazine writer Dave Zirin argues that American sports are about a lot more than just fun and games. Exploding the myth that the world of sports somehow stands outside the world of politics and ideology, Zirin shows how American sports culture has long been a haven for the most reactionary attitudes and ideas, promoting everything from nationalism and militarism to sexism, racism, and homophobia. At the same time, he identifies an equally strong countercurrent, a history of rebel athletes whose high-profile resistance to jingoistic patriotism, heterosexist masculine authority, white male privilege, and other forms of bullying have reverberated beyond the field of play. Inspired as much by Zirin's passion for politics as by his passion for sports, this is cultural studies and media education at their best -- a powerful classroom resource that shows how even the most benign pop cultural forms have the power to shape young people's attitudes and ideas. Available for institutional use: or home viewing:
  • race,
  • class,
  • gender,
  • sports,
  • militarism,
  • masculinity,
  • patriarchy
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Citation Information
Christopher Boulton. "Not Just A Game: Power, Politics & American Sports" (2010)
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Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-NC-SA International License.