Modern football is an industry and capitalism is its engine. However, this book argues for a more nuanced understanding of contemporary football culture and the (self-)identity of football fans.
Drawing on original ethnographic research conducted with fans at all levels, from international to lower league, the book explores the tensions between fans as consumers and ‘traditional’ football cultures, arguing that modern football fans are able to negotiate the discourses of capitalism and tradition operating upon them to enact their own power and identity within football culture.
Featuring case studies of Norwich City, MK Dons and Chelsea fans, this is fascinating reading for anybody with an interest in sport and society or cultural studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: #Youarefootball, 2. The People’s Game?, 3. Changing Formation, 4. Norwich City: ‘The Best Pies in the League’, 5. MK Dons: Fear and Loathing in Milton Keynes, 6. Chelsea: ‘Champions of Europe’, 7. ‘IN-GER-LAND’: Ethnography in the Pub, 8. Conclusion: They think It’s All Over, Appendix A
Oliver Brooks is Tutor in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia, UK.
"Brooks’ volume is a welcome addition to studies on football fandom. It presents a clear argument regarding so-called consumerist or non-traditional fans. The case studies are neatly chosen and provide a compact articulation of the state of play in the contemporary sporting culture of the UK. Brooks writes in an easy and readable style and there is a persistent sense that he enjoyed his research and writing." - Andy Fuller, University of Melbourne, Australia
"an ethnography that successfully presents a nuanced understanding of fan culture, illustrating how sports fans articulate and understand their identity, and how they negotiate the ways in which they may themselves be represented within the surrounding sporting culture. Summing Up: Recommended." - J. R. Mitrano, Central Connecticut State University, CHOICE (December 2019)