According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, outdoor soccer was the second most popular organized sport for Australian children after swimming. It far outstripped the popularity of the three other football codes that are played in Australia – rugby league, rugby union and Australian Rules football.
Yet the soccer participation phenomenon in Australia is matched neither by the media coverage of the game in these countries, nor by the academic interest in the game. With a few notable exceptions in academic sports history, the game of soccer remains understudied in comparison with the other football codes. And, apart from some interest that is generated by World Cup campaigns, the media coverage of soccer is largely marginalized, and becomes most emphasized when reporting on aspects of ‘hooligan’ crowd behaviour.
This book investigates some of the ways that soccer has been maintained as marginal to Australian identity, and why the sport remains vitally important to some marginalized groups within these communities.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Sport in Society.
1. The Beautiful Game in Howard’s ‘Brutopia’: Football, Ethnicity and Citizenship in Australia Chris Hallinan and John Hughson 2. Getting a Ticket to the World Party: Televising Soccer in Australia David Rowe and Callum Gilmour 3. Soccer and the Politics of Identity for Young Muslim Refugee Women in South Australia Catherine Palmer 4. Football Barriers – Aboriginal Under-Representation and Disconnection From the ‘World Game’ John Maynard 5. ‘Holding Their Own’: Australian football, British Culture and Globalization Stephen Wagg and Tim Crabbe 6. Sheilas, Wogs and Metrosexuals: Masculinity, Ethnicity and Australian Soccer Jessica Carniel 7. Soccer in the West: the World Game in Australia’s Western Periphery Philip Moore 8. You Have the Right to Remain Violent: Power and Resistance in the Club Bily Bosevski and Chris Hallinan 9. Fan Perspectives of Change in the A-League Daniel Lock 10. ‘Fencing Them In’: the A-League, Policing and the Dilemma of Public Order Ian Warren and Roy Hay