Carrying the Ideological Ball: Text, Discourse, and Pleasure

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Suren Lalvani Pennsylvania State University–Harrisburg

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This study of American football illustrates the view that even though popular texts are imbricated with dominant values, they are open to multiple readings. The analysis proceeds in a dialectical manner identifying the preferred reading, and counterposing to that the opportunity for alternative readings that result from locating the football text within an extradiscursive context and in light of the contradictions in the text itself. In addressing the ambiguity in the text, the paper points to the contradictory meanings of offense and defense in football and the contrasting forms of class based masculinity conveyed by the contradiction.

Suren Lalvani is with the Humanities Division at Pennsylvania State University–Harrisburg, 777 Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057-4898.

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