Football Hooliganism in the Netherlands: Patterns of Continuity and Change

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Spaaij, Ramon ORCID: 0000-0002-1260-3111 (2007) Football Hooliganism in the Netherlands: Patterns of Continuity and Change. Soccer and Society, 8 (2-3). pp. 316-334. ISSN 1466-0970 (print) 1743-9590 (online)


This article analyzes the emergence, development and dominant features of football hooliganism in the Netherlands. Using both qualitative and quantitative data, the author shows that contemporary football hooliganism in the Netherlands is more complex and less surveyable than in the past. Within this development, five dominant patterns are distinguished: the partial displacement of hooligan confrontations; increasing levels of planning and coordination; alternatives to physical violence; violence directed at the police and the heterogeneous social composition of hooligan groups. These patterns indicate that Dutch football hooliganism has changed rather than disappeared. The persistence of the phenomenon should be understood in terms of the attractions of the hooligan lifestyle to young men seeking adventure and excitement and the psycho‐social pleasures associated with hooligan violence.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/14660970701224566
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 football hooliganism, football violence, football culture, football fan behaviour, Netherlands, development strategies
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