Away from nothing: An ethnographic study of travelling Sheffield Wednesday supporters

WOOLSEY, Ian (2018). Away from nothing: An ethnographic study of travelling Sheffield Wednesday supporters. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This study is an ethnography, which explores the actions, purposes, and experiences, of travelling Sheffield Wednesday supporters. It’s starting point is the argument that it is necessary to interpret these phenomena against the backdrop of wider societal changes, which have seen a decisive shift from a stable, confident, producer modernity, to a liquid (Bauman, 2000), uncertain, fragmented, consumer one. By doing so, the study addresses the insular character of much extant research in the sociology of football, whose narrow focus on power differentials within the game has thus far limited our understanding of the strategies which are employed by football supporters to combat these de-stabilising tendencies. Specifically, it asks how the collective responses of travelling Sheffield Wednesday supporters to these major societal currents and changes within the game, principally, liquid modernity and the post-1989 transformation of English football, are managed via the distinct and oft-competing processes of social spacing in football. The thesis sits within a long line of scholarly output which has interpreted football support as a battle for ‘cultural space and territory’ (Hall, 1978:31). However, what distinguishes it from more-established Marxist (one-dimensional) frameworks is its critical exploration of the interaction between aesthetic, moral, and cognitive processes of social spacing which can be found within and around English football stadiums. This pioneering approach, which foregrounds the ‘interwoven yet distinct’ (Bauman, 1993:145) character of social spacing, brings a new focus to the sociology of football, which provides an original and compelling account of the complexity of power and control within this sporting domain.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Blackshaw, Tony
Additional Information: Director of studies - Tony Blackshaw "No PQ harvesting"
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Louise Beirne
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 10:06
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2023 01:18

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