The World Cup begins today in Brazil amidst protests, transit strikes, security threats, accusations of government corruption and wasteful spending, military cleanup of favelas, construction-related deaths and delays, and an overriding sense of public resentment for this, the most expensive football tournament ever.
In an upcoming book, Lessons from Latin America: Innovations in Politics, Culture, and Development, authors Felipe Arocena and Kirk Bowman dedicate the entire final chapter to the beautiful game.
Arguing that academia has historically ignored soccer as a subject for serious scholarship, and that social scientists have “largely decried the effect of soccer as the opiate of the masses and the principal source of alienation from politics,” they outline two major lessons to be learned from soccer in Latin America – the first of which includes the limits of sport as the opiate of the masses.
Click here to download and read an excerpt from “Chapter 10: Global Lessons from the Beautiful Game.”
Lessons from Latin America will be published in August 2014.