Football fans in an age of intolerance

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    This chapter explores the changing nature of policing at football matches, a change that incorporates two different forms of elitism. The shift, it is argued, relates to a move from traditional conservative snobbery about football fans, to a new form of cosmopolitan snobbery. The former, in the 1980s, resulted in the physical caging of fans and led to the deaths at Hillsborough. The latter is arguably more problematic and is preoccupied less with the control of ‘bodies’, than with the regulation of minds (and mouths). Today’s obsession about regulating football fans (and indeed players) stems from an exaggerated concern about the bigoted nature of football supporters – indeed of the white working class, in Britain. The regulation of speech and behaviour at games should be understood as a new form of moralising, a new etiquette and an intolerant form of policing of ‘offensiveness’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFootball hooliganism, fan behaviour and crime
    Subtitle of host publicationcontemporary issues
    EditorsMatt Hopkins, James Treadwell
    Place of PublicationBasingstoke
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)9781137347978
    ISBN (Print)9781349467587
    Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2014


    • Criminalisation
    • Sectarianism
    • Offensive
    • Intolerance
    • Tolerance
    • Football


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