This chapter introduces ‘An ethnography of English football fans’ and the concept of the ‘carnival fan’. It identifies that football crowds are made up of numerous different sub-cultures. It provides a brief literature review of previous work on football fandom and ‘hooliganism’, focussing particularly on the work of Marsh, Armstrong, Giulianotti and the ‘Leicester School’. It also contains a discussion of the role of the media and fan confessionals (or ‘hoolie-lit’) in the construction and presentation of football crowd behaviour.
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