The quality of home runs: the passion, politics, and language of Cuban baseball

Carter, Thomas F. (2008) The quality of home runs: the passion, politics, and language of Cuban baseball Duke University Press, Durham, USA. ISBN 0822342766

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Abstract

Winner of The North American Society for the Sociology of Sport 2009 Book Prize: In parks and cafes, homes and stadium stands, Cubans talk baseball. Thomas F. Carter contends that when they are analyzing and debating plays, games, teams, and athletes, Cubans are exchanging ideas not just about baseball but also about Cuba and cubanidad, or what it means to be Cuban. "The Quality of Home Runs" is Carter's lively ethnographic exploration of the interconnections between baseball and Cuban identity. Suggesting that baseball is in many ways an apt metaphor for cubanidad, Carter points out aspects of the sport that resonate with Cuban social and political life: the perpetual tension between risk and security, the interplay between individual style and collective regulation, and the risky journeys undertaken with the intention, but not the guarantee, of returning home. As an avid baseball fan, Carter draws on his experiences listening to and participating in discussions of baseball in Cuba (particularly in Havana) and among Cubans living abroad to describe how baseball provides the ground for negotiations of national, masculine, and class identities wherever Cubans gather. He considers the elaborate spectacle of Cuban baseball as well as the relationship between the socialist state and the enormously popular sport. Carter provides a detailed history of baseball in Cuba, analyzing players, policies, rivalries, and fans, and he describes how the sport has forged connections (or reinforced divisions) between Cuba and other nations. Drawing on insights from cultural studies, political theory, and anthropology, he maintains that sport and other forms of play should be taken seriously as crucibles of social and cultural experience.

Item Type:Authored book
Additional Information:WINNER 2009: Outstanding Book Award, North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.
Uncontrolled Keywords:cuba; baseball; sport and leisure cultures;
Subjects:L000 Social Sciences > L700 Human and Social Geography > L710 Human and Social Geography by area > L715 Human and Social Geography of the Americas
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology
L000 Social Sciences > L900 Cultural Studies
L000 Social Sciences > L600 Anthropology
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L330 Ethnic studies
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L311 Sport and Leisure
Faculties:Faculty of Education and Sport > Chelsea School
ID Code:5308
Deposited By:Chelsea editor
Deposited On:20 Nov 2009
Last Modified:17 May 2013 14:38

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