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Temples of the Earthbound Gods

In Rio de Janeiro, the spiritual home of world football, and Buenos Aires, where a popular soccer club president was recently elected mayor, the game is an integral part of national identity. Using the football stadium as an illuminating cultural lens, Temples of the Earthbound Gods examines many aspects of urban culture that play out within these monumental architectural forms, including spirituality, violence, rigid social norms, anarchy, and also expressions of sexuality and gender. Tracing the history of the game in Brazil and Argentina through colonial influences as well as indigenous ball courts in Mayan, Aztec, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Olmec societies, Christopher Gaffney's study spans both ancient and contemporary worlds, linking the development of stadiums to urbanization and the consolidation of nation building in two of Latin America's most intriguing megacities.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Acknowledgments Abbreviations Chapter One. The Stadium in Theory and Practice Chapter Two. Rio de Janeiro: Spiritual Home of World Football Chapter Three. Stadiums and Society in Twenty-first Century Rio de Janeiro Chapter Four. Buenos Aires: Estadiolandia Chapter Five. Class and Conflict in the Stadiums of Buenos Aires Chapter Six. Comparative Cultural Urbanism Appendix A. Stadiums in Rio de Janeiro, 2008 Appendix B. Clubs and Stadiums in Buenos Aires, 2007 Appendix C. Time Line, Brazil Appendix D. Time Line, Argentina Notes Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

In this tale of two cities, a geography scholar and soccer aficionado delivers a tour of the sport's hallowed grounds.

About the Author

Christopher Thomas Gaffney is an independent scholar based in Durham, North Carolina. Also a journalist and local radio commentator, he has played soccer on four continents, winning the 1997 Taiwanese Footballer of the Year Award.


"A fascinating account of how the world's most popular sport has left an indelible mark in two world cities." oJoseph L. Scarpaci, Professor of Geography, Virginia Tech

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