Soccer in Mind: A Thinking Fan's Guide to the Global Game (Critical Issues in Sport and Society) (Paperback)
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From the FIFA World Cup to pick-up games at your local park, soccer is the closest thing in our world to a universal entertainment. Many writers use this global popularity to describe the game’s winners and losers, but what happens when we use social science to explore how soccer intersects with culture, society, and the self?
This book provides a thinking fan’s guide to the world’s most popular game, proposing a way of engaging soccer that sparks intellectual curiosity and employs critical consciousness. Using stories and data, along with ideas from sociology, psychology, and across the social sciences, it provides readers with new ways of understanding fanaticism, peak performance, talent development, and more. Drawing on concepts ranging from cognitive bias to globalization, it illuminates meanings of the game for players and fans while investigating impacts on our lives and communities. While it considers soccer cultures across the globe, the book also analyzes what makes U.S. soccer culture special, including its embrace of the women’s game.
As a scholar, former minor league player and coach, and fan, Andrew Guest offers a distinctive perspective on soccer in society. Whatever name you call it, and whatever your interest in it, Soccer in Mind will enrich your own view of the one truly global game.
About the Author
ANDREW M. GUEST is a professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Portland in Oregon, where he also serves as Director of the Core Curriculum. He has played, coached, researched, taught, and enjoyed soccer in locales ranging from Malawi to Michigan, and from Northern Ireland to northeast Seattle.
“Soccer in Mind is a fun and thought-provoking read. By bringing social science theories and research findings to some of the most well-known, thrilling moments from soccer past and present, Guest illustrates a ‘thinking fandom’ that encourages us all to be more curious observers of the global game. Ultimately, this book helps us to understand ourselves through soccer, offering a compelling take not only on who we are, but also how we can be better.”
— Rachel Allison
"Andrew Guest uses sociology and psychology to guide readers into a world of complex and malleable meanings associated with global soccer. With an engaging writing style, he presents an insightful introduction to the ways that critical thinking about sports enables us to play with ideas as we develop a better understanding of ourselves and the social worlds in which we live."
— Jay Coakley
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