cover of book

Discipline and Indulgence: College Football, Media, and the American Way of Life during the Cold War
by Jeffrey Montez de Oca
Rutgers University Press, 2013
Paper: 978-0-8135-6126-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-6991-8 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-6127-1
Library of Congress Classification GV950.M66 2013
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.332630973

Winner of the 2014 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Outstanding Book Award

The early Cold War (1947–1964) was a time of optimism in America. Flushed with confidence by the Second World War, many heralded the American Century and saw postwar affluence as proof that capitalism would solve want and poverty. Yet this period also filled people with anxiety. Beyond the specter of nuclear annihilation, the consumerism and affluence of capitalism’s success were seen as turning the sons of pioneers into couch potatoes.

In Discipline and Indulgence, Jeffrey Montez de Oca demonstrates how popular culture, especially college football, addressed capitalism’s contradictions by integrating men into the economy of the Cold War as workers, warriors, and consumers. In the dawning television age, college football provided a ritual and spectacle of the American way of life that anyone could participate in from the comfort of his own home. College football formed an ethical space of patriotic pageantry where men could produce themselves as citizens of the Cold War state. Based on a theoretically sophisticated analysis of Cold War media, Discipline and Indulgence assesses the period’s institutional linkage of sport, higher education, media, and militarism and finds the connections of contemporary sport media to today’s War on Terror.

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