Fitba’ crazy, fitba’ mad? A football inspired reading list (yet again!)

The 2018 World Cup kicks off today in Russia and to mark this occasion we decided to resurrect and update our football inspired reading list that we originally published just over 2 years ago when Euro 2016 began (and 2 years before that when the 2014 World Cup started – don’t say we don’t have any new ideas!) These are just a small number of the e-books currently available to staff and students of the University in the Library’s collections that look at different aspects of the beautiful (or not so beautiful) game from a social sciences perspective.

Football and supporter activism in Europe: whose game is it? edited by Borja García and Jinming Zheng explores and compares football governance, fandom culture and supporter engagement in Europe. With a specific focus on supporter activism and campaigning, the collection provides a comparative study of several European countries. The authors argue that supporters, despite being the pillar or the ‘lifeblood’ of their club, see their role in football governance marginalised. The volume is unique in that it challenges the widely accepted assumption that membership football clubs encourage the democratic participation of supporters.

Marketing and football: an international perspective edited by Michel Desbordes and Simon Chadwick examines in two parts the study of football marketing in Europe and the development of a marketing dedicated to football, with the question of the European example being used worldwide.

Football hooliganism, fan behaviour and crime: contemporary issues edited by Matthew Hopkins and James Treadwell focuses on a number of contemporary research themes placing them within the context of palpable changes that have occurred within football in recent years. The collection brings together essays about football, crime and fan behaviour from leading experts in the fields of criminology, law, sociology, psychology and cultural studies.

Football’s dark side: corruption, homophobia, violence and racism in the beautiful game by Ellis Cashmore and Jamie Cleland aims to express the views of thousands of football fans on the game they love, but which they know has an unpleasant underside demonstrating that beyond  football’s assumed social value, the glamour and the spectacle an array of serious problems and exclusions endure. [This is also available in print in the Main Library at GV943.9.S64 Cas.]

Female football fans: community, identity and sexism by Carrie Dunn. Most sociological work on football fandom has focused on the experience of men, and it usually talks about alcohol, fighting and general hooliganism. This book shows that there are some unique facets of female experience and fascinating negotiations of identity within the male-dominated world of men’s professional football. [This is also available in print in Moray House Library at GV943.9.F35 Dun.]

Organisation and governance of top football across Europe: an institutional perspective edited by Hallgeir Gammelsæter and Benoît Senaux aims to provide an extensive overview of how football is organised and managed on a European level and in individual European countries, and to account for the evolution of the national, international and transnational management of football over the last decades.

Football fandom and migration: an ethnography of transnational practices and narratives in Vienna and Istanbul by Nina Szogs studies how transnationalisation, Europeanisation and migration processes intersect with football fandom, through an analysis of the transnational narratives and practices of Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray football fans in Vienna, Austria. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Austria, Turkey and Germany, the author analyses the ways in which narratives about football fandom are often linked to migrant experiences, including practices of (self‑)culturalization in the diasporic context in Austria.

An ethnography of English football fans: cans, cops and carnivals by Geoff Pearson is based upon sixteen years observation of English football fans who travel home and away with their team – Manchester United, Blackpool and the England national team. The book challenges a number of the myths about hooliganism and crowd control and describes the interpretations, motivations and behaviour of these groups of fans both at home and abroad. [This is also available in print in the Main Library at GV943.9.F35 Pea.]

Bigotry, football, and Scotland edited by John Flint and John Kelly is a multidisciplinary analysis of sectarianism and bigotry in Scottish football. Sectarianism and bigotry are among the most publicly debated issues in Scotland, often reported in the newspapers as the “shame” of Scotland’s national game. The current crisis in Scottish football includes high profile controversies and disorder related to bigotry and sectarianism which resulted in new legislation to tackle offensive behaviour in and beyond football grounds. In this collection, contributors from a range of disciplinary positions present the latest empirical research evidence and social theory to examine and debate fundamental issues about bigotry in Scottish football and society. [This is also available in print in the Main Library at GV944.S3 Big.] 

Foreign players and football supporters: the Old Firm, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germaine by David Ranc looks at supporters’ reactions to the increase in the number of foreign players in the clubs they support. It concentrates on three case studies on Glasgow (Celtic and Rangers), Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal in London and the book charts the evolution of the link between supporters and club between 1995 and today.

The association game: a history of British football by Matthew Taylor traces British football from the establishment of the earliest clubs in the nineteenth century to its place as one of the prominent and commercialised leisure industries at the beginning of the twenty first century. It covers supporters and fandom, status and culture, big business, the press and electronic media and development in playing styles, tactics and rules. [This is also available in print in Moray House Library at GV944.G7 Tay.]

Access to the e-books listed is only available to current students and staff at University of Edinburgh.

Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for Social and Political Science

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