Contemporary Issues In Sport Football Hooligans Uk

3033 words - 12 pages

Contemporary Issues in SportThe main issue that I have chosen is hooliganism in football. The article to be analysed is that of Eric Dunning: Soccer Hooliganism as a world social problem, (in Sport Matters- sociological studies of sport, violence and civilization (2001). Other works will also be looked at to highlight wider understanding of soccer hooliganism from different social thoughts. What will follow is an essay that will try to cover issues raised by Dunning in his article. It is worth noting that Dunning in his quest to understand soccer hooliganism comes from a figurational perspective (this will be discussed later).Official explanations of football hooliganismThere has been some popular explanation of football hooliganism made by the media and politicians. These explanations have often been refuted by sociological academics such as Dunning, Giulianotti, and Kerr. One popular belief is that excessive alcohol consumption is a cause of football hooliganism. Dunning in his article rejects this explanation simply as he states: "Drinking cannot be said to be a deep cause of football hooliganism, for the simple reason that every fan who drinks, even heavily, takes part in hooligan acts. Nor does every hooligan drink" (Dunning 1988:13). This rejection of popular belief is further reinforced by Kerr (1994) who says that hooligans are not drunks before engaging in violence, simply because they need to have a clear head to co-ordinate activities and fight.Much of the past speculation concerning the violent behavior often associated with English and European football cultures has attempted to explain such behaviors as the result of excessive drinking or fans imitating the violent antics of the players on the field (Dunning, Murphy, and Williams 1984). As pointed out by Eric Dunning and his associates, this thinking is incorrect. The majority of fans who drink do not engage in violence, and single violent acts perpetrated by players rarely instigate violent behavior among fans. These authors contend that the realm of football spectatorship provides a catalyst for the manifestation of the aggressive masculinity present in the young male working class of England. This subculture values disorderly conduct and violent activity as a means of self-expression (Dunning, Murphy, and Williams 1984).Other official explanation to understand football hooliganism were raised, included violence on the field, unemployment and permissiveness which contributed to increase in hooliganism.The popular belief that unemployment is a reason for increased hooliganism is favoured by the political left. However, Dunning in his article rejects this explanation. He states that at times when unemployment was at its highest (1930s), hooliganism was at it's lowest. He found out that there were no direct correlation between unemployment and hooliganism.The final popular belief that society has become more permissive was favoured by the political right such as Norman Tebbit and...

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