Given sport’s centrality in English society, what role does it play in symbolising contemporary English national identity? This comprehensive study explores the complex set of relationships between sport and what it means to be English in the twenty-first century. The bond between sport and nationalism has long been recognised, but with increasingly vociferous separatist nationalisms threatening the dismantling of the United Kingdom, a closer analysis is timely.
Part one addresses key debates regarding English national identity within the specific sporting contexts of association football, cricket, tennis, cycling and rugby. Part two discusses the complex relationship between religion, sport and English national identity as well as the attitudes and experiences of traditionally marginalized groups, including women, minority ethnic groups and disabled people. Part three considers the perspectives of the other UK nations on the link between sport and English national identity.
Sport and English National Identity in a 'Disunited Kingdom' is fascinating reading for all those with an interest in the sociology, politics and history of sport, and the study of nations, nationalism and national identity.
Table of Contents
1. Nationalism, the English Question and Sport [Tom Gibbons and Dominic Malcolm] Part I: English or British? 2. Cricket: The Quintessential English Game? [Dominic Malcolm and Philippa Velija] 3. Is St George Enough?: The relationship between English national identity and football [Tom Gibbons] 4. ‘Tennis in an English Garden Party’: Wimbledon, Englishness and British sporting culture [Robert J. Lake] 5. ‘We are just going to draw the raffle numbers’: The English history of the cycling time-trial [Tony Rees, Kevin Dixon and Tom Gibbons] 6. Rugby League and the Negotiation of Englishness [Mark Falcous] Part II: Contested Identities and Sport in England 7. Connecting ‘Englishness’, Black and Minoritised Ethnic Communities and Sport: A conceptual framework [Thomas Fletcher and Jim Lusted] 8. England’s Lionesses: English women and sport [Ali Bowes] 9. Disabled Athletes as Outsiders to English Sporting National Identity [Stuart Braye, Kevin Dixon and Tom Gibbons] 10. Sport, Religion and English National Identity [Andrew Parker and Nick J. Watson] Part III: Attitudes to England from the ‘Celtic Fringe’ via Sport 11. Not a Case of Big Brother Looking Down on Us: Attitudes to England from Northern Ireland via sport [Gareth Mulvenna] 12. Sending ‘Proud Edward’s Army tae think again’: a Scottish perspective on the quest for an English identity in sport [Stuart Whigham] 13. Anglo-Welsh Football Relations [Martin Johnes] Part IV: Conclusion 14. English National Identity and Intra-British Relations: Empirical and theoretical reflections [Dominic Malcolm and Tom Gibbons]
Tom Gibbons is a Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies at Teesside University, UK. He is author of English National Identity and Football Fan Culture: Who are ya? and co-editor of The Impact of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Diminishing contrasts, increasing varieties. Tom has published various research articles and book chapters on the sociology and history of sport in the following topic areas: English/British national identity; globalisation and European integration; fandom; media; violence/hooliganism; disability; Christianity; football; endurance sport; and qualitative research methods
Dominic Malcolm is Reader in the Sociology of Sport at Loughborough University, UK. He has published widely in the sociology of sport including the Sage Dictionary of Sports Studies, Sport and Sociology and Sport and Society: A Student Introduction. His core research interests draw on and apply the theoretical ideas of Norbert Elias’s figurational sociology to two substantive areas: the social development of cricket; and sport, health and medicine. In these fields he has published Globalizaing Cricket: Englishness, Empire and Identity, The Social Organization of Sports Medicine and most recently Sport, Medicine and Health: The medicalization of sport?