Football, Flags, and Flyovers: American Nationalism and the Violent Spectacle of the NFL

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Date

2015-05-12

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Gambrell, Ellen Rivers

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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to explore the relationship between the National Football League (NFL) and American national identity, and to also examine professional American football’s profound impact on the country’s visual culture—particularly during times of warfare and tragedy. Surprisingly, the NFL—despite its status as a cultural juggernaut—has largely evaded substantial critical analysis over the past 50 years, and very few scholars have focused their attention specifically on the intrinsic link between nationalism and the institution of professional football. By examining the federal pomp and circumstance incorporated into NFL games, broadcasts, and merchandise—as well as the brutality of the game itself—this paper aims to fill a gaping hole in the literature surrounding sport and national identity in the United States.

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Gambrell, Ellen Rivers (2015). Football, Flags, and Flyovers: American Nationalism and the Violent Spectacle of the NFL. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9785.


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