Football (or soccer, as it is known in the United States) is a beautiful game to play or to watch, but it is a mistake to think that it is just a game. Many people have said that football is fascinating because it is like life ' a complex mixture of competition and cooperation, individual initiative and team play, driven by money, power, glory and fame. But real football fans know the truth: football isn't like life, it is life. This course seeks to understand some important aspects of society through the particularly revealing political, social, and economic structures of global football. Issues of class, race, gender, identity, nationality, and nationalism are examined in the context of the commercialization, politicalization, and globalization of the sport.