Many people turn to sport as an escape from the pressures and concerns of everyday life, a space apart from society's daily grind. This course, however, explores the myriad ways that sport is enmeshed in the social world: the interplay of sports and sporting culture with socio-political conflict and ideology. Honing in on the three major sports of the Americas--baseball, soccer, and boxing--students examine the interaction of these sports with shifting historical and social contexts in order to query the role of identity, economy, class, and politics both on and off the field. Drawing on writings and films about sport, as well as sporting events themselves, students learn the rudiments of critical analysis and argumentation as they explore just how permeable are the boundaries between sport and society. Affiliate department: English.