English National Identity and Football Fan Culture : Who Are Ya? book cover
1st Edition

English National Identity and Football Fan Culture
Who Are Ya?

ISBN 9780367332914
Published April 15, 2019 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

In recent years, scholars have understood the increasing use of the St George’s Cross by football fans to be evidence of a rise in a specifically ’English’ identity. This has emerged as part of a wider ’national’ response to broader political processes such as devolution and European integration which have fragmented identities within the UK. Using the controversial figurational sociological approach advocated by the twentieth-century theorist Norbert Elias, this book challenges such a view, drawing on ethnographic research amongst fans to explore the precise nature of the relationship between contemporary English national identity and football fan culture. Examining football fans’ expressions of Englishness in public houses and online spaces, the author discusses the effects of globalization, European integration and UK devolution on English society, revealing that the use of the St George’s Cross does not signal the emergence of a specifically ’English’ national consciousness, but in fact masks a more complex, multi-layered process of national identity construction. A detailed and grounded study of identity, nationalism and globalization amongst football fans, English National Identity and Football Fan Culture will appeal to scholars and students of politics, sociology and anthropology with interests in ethnography, the sociology of sport, fan cultures, globalization and contemporary national identities.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction; Chapter 2 Theoretical Approach for Understanding Contemporary English National Identity; Chapter 3 The Unintended Consequences of Global and European Forces on English Football Fan Culture; Chapter 4 Manifestations of Englishness in Pubs during World Cup 2006; Chapter 5 Fan Debates on Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics and the Almunia Case; Chapter 6 The Club versus Country Debate in English Football and the Diverse Use of the St George’s Cross; Chapter 7 Conclusion: Diminishing Contrasts, Increasing Varieties in English Football;

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Dr Tom Gibbons is Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies in the School of Social Sciences and Law at Teesside University, UK.


'Whether or not you are a fan of Norbert Elias and his civilizing process theory, this book addresses crucial issues around contemporary football culture and identity. Drills down to the pub talk and online fandom which rarely get a hearing in all the policy debates.' Steve Redhead, Professor of Sports Media, Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia