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Dribbling with the Left and Shooting with Right: Soccer, Sports Media, and Populism in Argentina and Chile, 1940s-1950s

  • Author(s): Acuna, Pedro
  • Advisor(s): Tinsman, Heidi
  • et al.
Abstract

Dribbling with the Left and Shooting with the Right: Soccer, Sports Media, and Populism in Argentina and Chile, 1940s-1950s contributes to the field of cultural studies and Latin American history by focusing on soccer (or fútbol), arguably the most significant mass spectacle in twentieth century Latin America. As part of the inquiry on Latin American populism and mass culture, my dissertation examines the role of soccer and sports media in creating and contesting populist regimes during the 1940s and 1950s. In particular, my work analyzes the presidencies of two military leaders that aggressively promoted soccer and sports programs as part of their state modernization projects: Juan Perón in Argentina (1946-1955) and Carlos Ibáñez in Chile (1952-1958). Both Perón and Ibáñez argued that sports would morally and physically uplift the working and middle classes and transform them into citizens of more vigorous national races. Dribbling with the Left and Shooting with the Right is both a social-political history of soccer and a cultural history of the particular roles played by sports media during the 1940s and 1950s. While historians of sports have extensively used government documents, club balances, and attendance records, my project further expands the archive by including sports magazines, medical treatises, illustrations, photographs, advertising, radio records and film footage.

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