Reviewing the AFL’s Vilification Laws: Rule 35, Reconciliation and Racial Harmony in Australian Football, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Reviewing the AFL’s Vilification Laws

Rule 35, Reconciliation and Racial Harmony in Australian Football, 1st Edition

By Sean Gorman, Dean Lusher, Keir Reeves


148 pages

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Hardback: 9781138657946
pub: 2017-12-05
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This book is the outcome of an Australian Research Council (ARC)-funded project titled Assessing the Australian Football League’s Racial and Religious Vilification Laws to Promote Community Harmony, Multiculturalism and Reconciliation,which investigated the impact of the Australian Football League’s anti-vilification policy since its introduction in 1995. With key stakeholders the Australian Football League, the AFL Players’ Association and the Office of Multicultural Affairs (previously the Victorian Multicultural Commission), the book gauges the attitudes and perspectives of players and coaches in the AFL regarding Rule 35, the code’s anti-vilification rule. The overarching themes of multiculturalism, reconciliation and social harmony in the AFL workplace have been the guiding ideals that we examined and analysed. The outcomes from the research vectors look at and engage with key issues about race, diversity and difference as it pertains to the elite AFL code, but also looks at the ongoing international conversation as it pertains to these themes in sport.

This book was previously published as a special issue of Sport in Society.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The AFL’s Rule 35

1. Understanding the importance and context of vilification

2. Overarching findings

3. Abacus Football Club

4. Bravo Football Club

5. Charlie Football Club

6. Delta Football Club

7. Echo Football Club

8. Foxtrot Football Club

9. Gecko Football Club

10. Hornet Football Club

11. Igloo Football Club


About the Authors

Sean Gorman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Curtin University, Perth, Australia, who specialises in Australian Indigenous Studies. He has studied and worked in the Indigenous Studies field for 20 years and is affiliated with both the Centre for Aboriginal Studies and Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). His latest book Legends: The AFL Indigenous Team of the Century is a collection of life stories of the indigenous players chosen by an expert AFL panel spanning the years from 1904 to 2004. Gorman’s work draws on social history, sports history, local history, memoir and memory, and gives insight and voice to contemporary indigenous society and people.

Dean Lusher is a lecturer at Swinburne University, Hawthorn, Australia, and is a social network analyst with expertise in the application of statistical models for social networks. He recently co-edited Exponential Random Graph Models for Social Networks: Theory, Methods and Applications (2013).

Keir Reeves is a professor and the Director of the Collaborative Research Centre for Australian History at Federation University Australia. His current research concentrates on cultural heritage, regional development and history. He is also committed to exploring how these trajectories can be applied to regional development policy to ensure viable communities in regional settings particularly in central Victoria. He recently co-edited Battlefield Events: Landscape, Commemoration and Heritage (2015).

About the Series

Sport in the Global Society – Contemporary Perspectives

The social, cultural (including media) and political study of sport is an expanding area of scholarship and related research. While this area has been well served by the Sport in the Global Society series, the surge in quality scholarship over the last few years has necessitated the creation of Sport in the Global Society: Contemporary Perspectives. The series will publish the work of leading scholars in fields as diverse as sociology, cultural studies, media studies, gender studies, cultural geography and history, political science and political economy. If the social and cultural study of sport is to receive the scholarly attention and readership it warrants, a cross-disciplinary series dedicated to taking sport beyond the narrow confines of physical education and sport science academic domains is necessary. Sport in the Global Society: Contemporary Perspectives will answer this need.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports