For Honor and Country: Understanding the Link Between Football Hooliganism and Nationalism




Warner, Alex

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Although football hooliganism is largely understood as a historical phenomenon, the sport has seen a resurgence in fan violence in the 2000’s and into the current decade. Modern day hooliganism occurs in both verbal and physical forms, including verbal attacks, offensive or racist chants, pitch invasions, severe property damage, and open assaults on opposing players, fans, referees, or civilians. Existing studies are severely limited in their scope, focusing primarily on domestic hooliganism in England at its height between the 1960’s-1990’s. By contrast, this study engages a cross-cultural perspective of hooliganism at the international level through a content analysis of major world newspapers. The author analyzes a total of 103 articles longitudinally, ranging from 2000-2013, using an open coding process based on the theme of international hooliganism in order to determine how nationalism arises from the content of these media reports as a motivating factor behind football violence at international matches. Furthermore, the research provides insight as to when hooliganism appears to manifest most frequently and the regional migration of hooliganism.



sociology of sport, deviance, nationalism, hooliganism, Honors College


Warner, A. (2013). For honor and country: Understanding the link between football hooliganism and nationalism (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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