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An ethnography of English football fansCans, cops and carnivals$
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Geoff Pearson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087219

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087219.001.0001

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Identity and Expression

Identity and Expression

(p.62) 3 Identity and Expression
An ethnography of English football fans

Geoff Pearson

Manchester University Press

This chapter looks at how the carnival fan groups expressed their collective identity at and around matches. It argues that humour, the ‘piss-take’ (Willis 1977) and the desire to witness and re-tell stories of ‘incident’ was central to the identity of the groups. It considers the creation and content of football chants (including racist and indecent chants) and the importance of ‘atmosphere’ at matches. It also looks at how different sub-cultures within a match-going support differentiate themselves and elevate their mode of support through stereotype and derision. Finally it considers the use of language and both regional and club-specific slang in creating group identity.

Keywords:   Football, Fan, Identity, Atmosphere, Chants, Humour, Piss-taking

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