By Christopher Gaffney
In Rio de Janeiro, the religious domestic of worldwide soccer, and Buenos Aires, the place a favored football membership president was once lately elected mayor, the sport is an essential component of nationwide id. utilizing the soccer stadium as an illuminating cultural lens, Temples of the Earthbound Gods examines many features of city tradition that play out inside of those huge architectural kinds, together with spirituality, violence, inflexible social norms, anarchy, and likewise expressions of sexuality and gender.
Tracing the heritage of the sport in Brazil and Argentina via colonial affects in addition to indigenous ball courts in Mayan, Aztec, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Olmec societies, Christopher Gaffney's learn spans either historical and modern worlds, linking the advance of stadiums to urbanization and the consolidation of kingdom construction in of Latin America's so much exciting megacities.
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Extra resources for Temples of the Earthbound Gods: Stadiums in the Cultural Landscape
Newspapers fill with histories, predictions, statistics, probable lineups, and odds of victory. Dollars, Euros, yen, yuan, and pesos change hands. Media production facilities swing into high gear as millions, even billions, of people gather in bars and homes— even other stadiums—to watch the event. From the “thrill of victory to the agony of defeat,” the stadium occupies our attention long after the floodlights have been turned off. The roar of the crowd may send a tingle up the back of our necks or make us hurry in the opposite direction.
The modern professional athlete is perhaps the most controlled and conditioned human subject—both on and off the field—and is subject to the full force of the panoptic mechanism, which has its highest and most public expression in the stadium. As spectators, we are subject to this mechanism but also enforce it, creating spiraling systems of control that limit its transgressive and transformative potential. Sexual Space n most cultures the stadium is male dominated and holds more meaning for men than women.
Have you ever read the sports section to see yesterday’s results? This effectively transports you through time to the events that took place in the stadium. As nodal points in interlocking networks, it is difficult to imagine a more extensible place than the stadium. Because of this, as Galeano so eloquently acknowledged, stadiums do not only communicate when they are actively used. They speak to us across generations and help us to imagine our collective futures. The architecture, size, location, and generalized function of stadiums as public spaces shape the memories, texture, and experience of cities around the globe.