Soccer Fans Essay

1092 words - 5 pages

Roadburg, Alan. “Factors precipitating fan violence: a comparison of professional soccer in Britain and North America”. British Journal of Sociology. 265-76. Jstor. Web. 2 June. 1980.
This article is about the factors precipitating fan violence; due to recent introduction and popularity of professional soccer in United States and Canada, this article looks at wether the crowd which tends to accompany the game in Britain will be a problem in North America. Analysis includes the comparison of these countries historical development throughout time to present day conditions and rules of the game in Britain and North America. The article further elucidates Britain crowd violence mainly in in ...view middle of the document...

These fans are referred to by the media as hooligans, savages, and rowdies. We learn that in Roadburg’s experience that the majority of the people who stand in the terraces are in fact working-class men (supporters) between the age of thirteen and seventeen. Although historically these Terraces were for separating social class, now it reflects age differences. That means the women and children are often the only ones sitting in the stands. Soccer evolved in Britain for 600 years opposed to North America that went professional within a single decade, the average British soccer fan a more able than his North American counterpart to identify with the game as a product of his heritage and culture.
While Roadburg does give the reader a huge ladder of explanations to the causes of fan violence, they do not necessarily explain why there are few instances of crowd violence at rugby or cricket matches, why are fans fighting each other and why fans cause damage to public and private property outside the stadium. Although he does come across a few theories to help show his perspective. Showing structural functionalism, with the exception of a playoff or cup final, there is nobody to fight at a typical soccer match in North America. Partly because of the great distance a team might travel and partly because of live television coverage of games, few fans will follow their team to an away match. Consequently, the majority of spectators at a given match support home team. In Britain, many fans will follow their team to an away match for many reasons. British fans do this partly because of the short distances a team might travel, partly because soccer is not shown on television, partly because of the strength of team affiliation, and partly due to tradition of following one’s team to an away game. This simple difference makes crowd violence more likely in Britain because the crowd will include a large contingent of supporters for each team. Also the heightened sense of excitement at a British soccer match can also be attributed to the fact that alcohol and soccer are culturally inseparable in Britain. In North America on the other hand rarely finds excessive drinking at soccer matches.
Although before the actual game “Britain begins...

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