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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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Fans or Hooligans?

Fans or Hooligans?

(p.80) 4 Fans or Hooligans?
An ethnography of English football fans

Geoff Pearson

Manchester University Press

This chapter considers the issue of ‘football hooliganism’ and the differences between carnival fans and hooligans. It problematises the definition of ‘hooligan’, investigating how fans understood the term. It details and accounts for crowd disorder witnessed abroad involving English teams, most notably at Marseilles (1998), Charleroi (2000) and Rome (2007), highlighting the key role of the police in whether disorder occurred and escalated, considering social psychological theory and the ‘elaborated social identity model’. It also investigates fan attitudes to ‘hooligans’ and violence more generally, establishing that there was a continual perceived risk of violence around matches, and a clear set of social rules surrounding when and how violence was acceptable, but that actual instances of inter-personal violence between fan groups from rival teams were rare.

Keywords:   Football, Fan, Hooligan, Disorder, Violence, Policing

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