Football and American Identity

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 25%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 96%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $61.09   
  • Used (7) from $1.99   


Learn the value of football to American society

No sport reflects the American value system like football. Visitors to the United States need only watch a game or two to learn all they need to know about the American way of life and the beliefs, attitudes, and concerns of American society. Football and American Identity examines the social conditions and cultural implications found in the football subculture, represented by core values such as competition, conflict, diversity, power, economic success, fair play, liberty, and patriotism. This unique book goes beyond the standard fare on football strategy and history, or the biographies of famous players and coaches, to analyze the reasons why the game is the essence of the American spirit.

Author Gerhard Falk, Professor of Sociology at the State University College of New York at Buffalo, examines football as a game, as a business, and as a reflection of the diversity in American life. Football and American Identity also addresses the relationship between football and the media, with much of the game’s income generated by advertising and endorsements, and examines the presence of crime in football culture. The book discusses the development of the game—and those involved in it—at the Pop Warner, college, and professional levels, examining the social origin of players, coaches, cheerleaders, and owners. In addition, Football and American Identity analyzes the game’s fans and their devotion to "their" teams, examines why Pennsylvania is considered the "mother" of American football, and looks at the National Football League and its commissioners.

Football and American Identity examines:

  • how individualism and achievement can lead to mythological status
  • why a person’s occupation is the most important indicator of prestige in the United States
  • what the consequences are of earning more in a year than most Americans make in a lifetime
  • why equality is vital to the ethnic make-up of American football teams
  • why teamwork is important-in football and in industry
  • how freedom is essential for taking the risks necessary for success
  • and much more!
Football and American Identity is an inside look at football as an American cultural phenomenon. Devoted and casual fans of the game, as well as academics working in sociology, will find this unique book interesting, entertaining, and thought-provoking.
Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

John Grasso
AN INTERESTING VIEW OF THE SPORT FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. . . . A comprehensive, well-researched study of American football and its impact on American society. Dr. Falk shows how the sport's history has allowed football to evolve to its present-day status as a multi-billion dollar enterprise. He covers all aspects of the game -high school, college, professional-and all its participants-players, coaches, owners, medical staff, fans, cheerleaders, and the media.
Olympic Editor, Ring Record Book; Author of the Olympic Games Boxing Record Book; Co-author of 505 Boxing Questions Your Friends Can't Answer
Andrew M. Holowchak
Falk takes a comprehensive look at all aspects of the game that is an obsession with many Americans. His book contains much that is INFORMATIVE TO NOT ONLY THOSE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE GAME, BUT ALSO THOSE WHO ARE MAVENS, EVEN ADDICTS.
PhD, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Kutztown University, Pennsylvania
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789025272
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Series: Contemporary Sports Issues Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. The School and American Football
  • The Social Psychology of Football
  • The Academic Achievements of Football Players and Other Athletes
  • Children’s Football
  • Football and Aggression
  • Death and Injury on the Playing Field
  • Football As an Alternative Status System
  • Summary
  • Chapter 2. College Football—The Professionals’ Minor League
  • Football Develops a Subculture
  • Recruiting College Football Players
  • Money and Greed—The College Football Business
  • The Race Issue in College Football
  • Who Plays College Football?
  • The College Football Coach—Role Model for All Seasons
  • Football Injuries and Football Deaths
  • Cheerleaders
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3. Football As a Profession
  • A Brief History of Professional Football
  • The Coming of Television
  • Race and the NFL
  • Football Fanatics
  • The Domestic Lives of Football Players
  • Professional Football Players As Victims
  • Professional Football and Social Class
  • Summary
  • Chapter 4. Football and Social Stratification
  • The Status of Football Players
  • Wealth, Income, and the Football Business
  • Race and Football: A "Mixed Marriage"
  • The Jewish Football Experience
  • Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas: Mothers of American Football
  • Gender and Sexual Orientation
  • Retired Football Players
  • Summary
  • Chapter 5. They Also Serve
  • Coaches
  • Scouts
  • Trainers
  • Officials
  • Cheerleaders
  • Football Doctors, Injuries, and Drugs
  • General Managers
  • Owners
  • Summary
  • Chapter 6. Fanatics
  • The Football Hall of Fans
  • Female Football Fans
  • The Football Culture
  • Regional and Generational Differences Among Football Fans
  • The Tailgate Party and the Football Diet
  • In Groups and Out Groups
  • Fan Violence
  • Fantasy Football
  • The Influence of Gender on Human Contact
  • Catharsis
  • Summary
  • Chapter 7. Football and the Media
  • Announcers and Analysts
  • Football and the Written Word—Print Journalism Supports the Game
  • Women Enter the Locker Room
  • Magazines
  • Football Books
  • Football in Film
  • Football Songs and Lyrics
  • Football Jokes
  • Summary
  • Chapter 8. The Football Business
  • Money, Money Everywhere
  • Film Production
  • Advertising
  • Merchandise
  • Contract Advisers/Agents
  • Lawyers
  • Stadium Construction Profits
  • Gambling
  • Small Business Contracts
  • Summary
  • Chapter 9. Crime and American Football
  • The Benedict-Yaeger Research
  • Felonies and Misdemeanors: The Football Culture of Crime
  • Super Bowl XXXIV
  • Understanding Criminality Among Football Players
  • Gambling and Drugs
  • The Sociology of Crime
  • Summary
  • Chapter 10. The National Football League
  • Football Politics and the South
  • College Football Politics
  • The Commissioners
  • The NFL Machine
  • Urban Warfare
  • The International NFL
  • From Football to Politics
  • The NFL Community
  • Summary
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)