Football clubs across the world continue to embody many of the collective symbols, identifications and processes of connectivity which have long been associated with the notion of ‘community’. In recent years, however, the very term ‘community’ has become the focus of renewed interest within popular discourse and amongst academics, politicians and policy makers. It has become something of a ‘buzz’ word, wheeled out as both a lament to more certain times and as an appeal to a better future: a term imbued with all the richness associated with human interaction.
‘Community’ has also been employed increasingly within football, for instrumental reasons concerned with policy and stadium redevelopment, and in broader rhetoric about clubs, their localities and fans.
This book brings together a range of key debates around contemporary understandings of ‘community’ in world football. Split into four sections, it considers
- political and theoretical debates around football and its connection with community;
- different national and ethnic football communities;
- instrumental uses of football to bridge gaps within and between groups;
- future directions in the football and community debate.
This book was published as a special issue of Soccer & Society.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction: football and community - practical and theoretical considerations Adam Brown, Tim Crabbe and Gavin Mellor
Politics, theory and practice
2 'The Janus-faced sport': English football, community and the legacy of the 'third way' Gavin Mellor
3 Contemporary community theory and football Tony Blackshaw
4 'Our club, our rules': fan communities at FC United of Manchester Adam Brown
Nations and ethnicities
5 Football, komyuniti and the Japanese ideological soccer apparatus John Horne and Wolfram Manzenreiter
6 'The nation and its fragments': football and community in India Kausik Bandyopadhyay
7 Coming in from the margins: ethnicity, community support and the rebranding of Australian soccer James Skinner, Dwight H. Zakus and Allan Edwards
Community and the instrumental use of football
8 Anyone for Football for Peace? The challenges of using sport in the service of co-existence in Israel John Sugden
9 Vamos, Vamos Aceirteros: soccer and the Latino community in Richmond, California Ilann S. Messeri
Postmodern community and future directions
10 Fishing for community: England fans at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Tim Crabbe
Dr Adam Brown, Professor Tim Crabbe and Dr Gavin Mellor are Directors and founder members of Substance, a UK-based social research company specialising in areas of sport, youth inclusion and community regeneration. www.substance.coop