The English Premier League (EPL) is one of the world’s most valuable and high-profile sports leagues, with millions of fans around the globe. The 2016/17 season marked the 25th anniversary of the EPL, providing a unique opportunity to reflect on how it has contributed, both positively and negatively, to key developments in football – and in sport and culture more broadly – at local, national and global levels.
Drawing on central themes in the social scientific study of sport, such as globalisation, celebrity, fandom, commercialisation, gender, sexuality and race, this book is the first to assess the historical development and current significance of the EPL. With original contributions from several of the world’s leading football scholars, it provides in-depth case studies of the multifaceted role of the EPL in the contemporary world of sport, as well as offering thought-provoking predications for the future challenges that it will face.
The English Premier League: A Socio-Cultural Analysis is a fascinating read for any sport studies student or scholar with a particular interest in football and the sociology of sport.
Foreword: How the 22-headed monster became the most popular league in the world
Introduction: 25 Years of the English Premier League
1. A History of the English Premier League: Cultures, consumption and commerce
[Joel Rookwood and John Hughson]
2. A whole new ball game: The English Premier League and television broadcast rights
3. A political economy of the English Premier League
[Peter Kennedy and David Kennedy]
4. The English Premier League in a global context
5. Winning the war for talent: Foreign players, status and the English Premier League
6. The football star: Celebrity, culture and consumption in the English Premier League
7. "Football without fans is nothing": Contemporary fan protests and resistance communities in the English Premier League era
8. A critical race theory analysis of the English Premier League: Confronting the declining significance of ‘race’ and racism myth
9. Football, homosexuality and the English Premier League: A changing cultural relationship
[Rory Magrath and Eric Anderson]
10. Game changer: The English Premier League, big money and world football
Conclusion: The best league in the world?: Predicting the future of the English Premier League