Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Political Science

First Advisor

Dean E. Robinson

Second Advisor

Sheldon Goldman

Third Advisor

Jenny Spencer

Subject Categories

Political Science


This study examines the role of propaganda and popular culture in constituting the American political tradition through the study of NFL films by employing a decidedly overlooked theoretical conception of the American political tradition—the countersubversive tradition thesis. Originally put forth by Michael Rogin, the countersubversive tradition is defined as “the creation of monsters as a continuing feature of American politics by the inflation, stigmatization, and dehumanization of political foes.” It is my belief that in looking at what constitutes the individual characteristics of the countersubversive tradition in a text like a sports film it is easier to see how it fits into similar theories offered by political scientists and others about the intersections of pop culture, sport, propaganda, and political tradition.