Contemporary community theory and football

BLACKSHAW, Tony (2008). Contemporary community theory and football. Soccer and Society, 9 (3), 325-345.

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This essay discusses contemporary community theory and football. After problematizing the idea of community, it traces the career progress of contemporary community theory in the work of various authors, paying particular attention to the ways it has been applied to football. It is suggested that community went from being a stock sociological concept to something much more elusive, which while providing the wellspring of a number of inspired uses is always running the risk of conceptual incoherence. Here the esay demonstrates that community in football draws on two sources of the imagination: the symbolic construction of community and imagined communities. In the light of the critique emanating from the discussion of these two kinds of imagination the essay suggests that community in football must be understood in the context of the shift from a solid modern society to a liquid modern sociality. Here the author offers a critical discussion of Zygmunt Bauman’s idea of liquid modern community, while in the process anticipating its critics. Drawing on empirical research on community‐based anti‐racist work in football, the final part of the essay demonstrates that in the public policy domain community has become to all intents and purposes just a word, rather than a mobilizing tool for creating in football some democratic operating principles that might make something like a community in the people’s game actually possible.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: UoA26
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sport Industry Research Centre
Identification Number:
Page Range: 325-345
Depositing User: Rebecca Jones
Date Deposited: 22 May 2012 09:25
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 10:00

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