Critical Issues in Football : A Sociological Analysis of the Beautiful Game book cover
1st Edition

Critical Issues in Football
A Sociological Analysis of the Beautiful Game

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 8, 2023
ISBN 9781032183091
February 8, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
232 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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USD $160.00

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Book Description

Showcasing some of the most important current research in football studies, this book demonstrates the value of social theory and sociology in helping us to better understand the world’s favourite sport. 

The book sheds critical new light on key issues in contemporary football, with each chapter using a different theoretical lens, drawing on the work of key thinkers from Elias and Foucault to Hall and Maffesoli. It explores issues and topics central to the study of modern football, including homophobia, feminist informed coaching practice, the racialized experiences of black professional footballers, the concussion crisis, and the role of identity in online football communities. It also looks ahead at the issues that are likely to define the research agenda in football studies in years to come. 

This is fascinating reading for any student or researcher with an interest in football, the sociology of sport, social theory, or social issues in wider society.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Examining Critical Issues in Football Through Sociological Theory

Stuart Whigham, Will Roberts, Alex Culvin and Daniel Parnell 

Part I: Established Social Theories and Football 

1          Tottenham Hotspur, Fan Identity, and Figurational Sociology: “Yid Army”

            Bonita Lunn 

2          How an Ethos of Amateurism Can Support the Integration of an Ecological Approach to Learning and Development in Football Academies: Too Much Too Early?

            Will Roberts, Martyn Rothwell, Haydn Morgan, James Vaughan and Carl Woods

3          The McDonaldization of Football’s Formal Coach Education?: Creating the McCoach

            Anthony Bush and Shaun Williams 

Part II: Emerging Social Theories and Football 

4          Desire, Drive and the Melancholy of English Football: ‘It’s (not) Coming Home’

            Jack Black 

5          An Alternative Lens for Grass Roots Sport: Deschooling Football

            Andrew Pitchford, Ben Moreland, Debbie Sayers and Will Roberts 

6          Negotiating Identity Conflict Through Football: Experiences of People Living with Type 1 Diabetes

            Christopher Bright and Győző Molnár 

7          Professional Knowledge Development in Performance Pathways: A Futsal Case Study Through the Lens of Practice Architectures

            Siôn Kitson, Pete Vallance and Simon Phelan 

Part III: Social Theories of Gender and Sexuality in Football 

8          Experiences of Female Football Referees: Using the Lack of Fit Model to Explore Gender Stereotypes in Football in England

            Laura Grubb, Tom Webb and Mike Rayner 

9          Critical Feminism and Football Pundits: Calm Down... It’s Just a Woman Talking Football

            Ali Bowes, Molly Matthews and Jess Long 

10        Toward the Application of Feminist Informed Pedagogical Principles into Coaching Practice: Personal Narratives and Implications for Football Coaches

            Adi Adams, Alice Hunter and Ellie Gennings 

11        English (Men’s) Football, Masculinity and Homophobia: From Hegemonic to Inclusive Masculinity

            Jay Willson and Rory Magrath 

Part IV: Social Theories of ‘Race’ and Ethnicity in Football 

12        The Racialised Construction of Black Professional Footballers in Engl(ish) Football: Love the Game, Hate the Player

            Jason Arday 

13        Black Professional Football Players, Social Capital and Social Change: A Case Study of Marcus Rashford’s Child Poverty Campaign

            Keon Richardson 

14        ‘Pogba x Stormzy’ and the Politics of Race and Representation: An Introduction to Stuart Hall and British Cultural Studies

            Michael Hobson

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Will Roberts is Senior Lecturer in Sport Development and Coaching in Te Huataki Waiora School of Health at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Will’s research interests cohere around pedagogical and socio-cultural aspects of sport, with a focus on the instrumentalism of coaching and youth sport. He is series editor for the ‘Routledge Studies in Constraints-Based Methodologies in Sport’ series and continues to work in football in a coaching and consulting role, supporting coaches, professional clubs and national organisations regarding their focus on holistic development of young people in sport. Will tweets from @w_roberts6 

Stuart Whigham is Senior Lecturer in Sport, Coaching and Physical Education in the Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work at Oxford Brookes University, UK. His research interests in the sociology and politics of sport focus on national identity, nationalism and sport; the politics of sport and sporting events; the politics of the Commonwealth Games; and the sociology and politics of Scottish sport. He has recently acted as Guest Editor for the Sport in Society journal for the 'Sport and Nationalism: Theoretical Perspectives' Special Issue. Stuart tweets from @StuartWhigham 

Alex Culvin works in player relations at FIFPRO and is Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, UK. Alex's research interests lie in elite sport, business management, policy, work and gender. She has recently co-edited two books on professional women's sport and professional women's football respectively. Alex currently acts as Chair of the Football Collective, a global network of football scholars, as the knowledge and research exchange lead. Alex completed her PhD in 2019, in the first study to examine professional football as work for women in England. As a former professional footballer, Alex had unique access to professional footballers and maintains considerable networks within professional sport. Alex tweets from @alexculvin 

Daniel Parnell is Associate Professor in Sport Business at the University of Liverpool Management School, UK. Dan’s research interests lie in business management, policy, and social and economic networks in sport. He serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Managing Sport and Leisure and is co-founder of The Football Collective, a global network of football scholars. He is also a co-editor of the Routledge book series ‘Critical Research in Football’. On top of this, Dan maintains extensive links within professional sport clubs, is Head of Football Research at Dundee United Football Club and is CEO of the Association of Sporting Directors. He tweets from @parnell_daniel