Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Dionne Bensonsmith

Reader 2

David Goldblatt

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Rights Information

© 2012 Elissa Josefina Ronquillo


Sport is often not a topic one contemplates of when thinking of global and national narratives. For many it is not a valid or significant tool to study race or development. Sport has been minimized to an after school activity or a distraction, but sport crosses many spheres including, but not limited to, politics and identity. It has the capability of influencing people’s histories and growth as an individual. Many scholars have in recent years used the politics of sport as a legitimate way to understand race and global history. The 2014 World Cup presented itself as the perfect subject to analyze various meanings driving the political, economic, and global significance of mega sports events. Brazil’s history with football and the inter-connectedness with politics, nationalism, and racial identity provide an interesting platform to dissect this information and place it in a larger scope within the values of the World Cup. Upon exploration of this topic and several meetings with Professor David Goldblatt, author of the must-read soccer Bible The Ball is Round, I found that the World Cup was exuding with political, economic, and social implications. A few main issues caught my attention: The massive corruption and lawlessness with which FIFA elites seem to operate under, the unbelievable accounts of housing and human rights violations done in the name of football by the Brazilian government, and the inefficient and slow progress of infrastructure preparations.