Men Like Us, Boys Like Them Violence, Masculinity, and Collective Identity in Football Hooliganism

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Spaaij, Ramon ORCID: 0000-0002-1260-3111 (2008) Men Like Us, Boys Like Them Violence, Masculinity, and Collective Identity in Football Hooliganism. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 32 (4). pp. 369-392. ISSN 0193-7235 (print) 1552-7638 (online)


Football (or soccer) hooliganism is a complex, heterogeneous, and dynamic phenomenon that should be studied in its different social and historical contexts. Despite the vital importance of cultural, social, and historical specificity for fully grasping the nature and dynamics of spectator violence at football matches, some striking cross-national and cross-local similarities can be identified. Six fundamental features seem universal to the construction of “hooligan” identities: excitement and pleasurable emotional arousal, hard masculinity, territorial identifications, individual and collective management of reputation, a sense of solidarity and belonging, and representations of sovereignty and autonomy. The search for such commonalities allows researchers to develop an approach that transcends the isolated view of single manifestations of football hooliganism and identifies the features and mechanisms that are central to expressions of football-related violence.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1177/0193723508324082
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords violence, football, comparative research, identity politics
Citations in Scopus 105 - View on Scopus
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