The Beautiful Game: How Soccer Explains Media

COM 473 • Spring 2021

Soccer (football) is more than the beautiful game. As one manager famously said, “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.” It has become a ritualized global spectacle more widely practiced than the world’s largest religions. The game is also highly stylized and curated entertainment.

This course looks at soccer as culture and commodity practiced and performed through media – television, journalism, literature, documentary film, photography, art and fashion. We will study the culture and history of soccer to better understand the ways that football fandom is intertwined with national identity, class, race and gender. Course texts  include Among the Thugs (a seminal journalistic account of football hooligans), British and Scottish football fanzines, scholarly articles, documentaries and podcasts. No knowledge of soccer – its rules, players, tactics or leagues – is expected or required.