Post-Fandom and the Millennial Blues: The Transformation of Soccer Culture

Post-Fandom and the Millennial Blues: The Transformation of Soccer Culture

Post-Fandom and the Millennial Blues: The Transformation of Soccer Culture

Post-Fandom and the Millennial Blues: The Transformation of Soccer Culture

Synopsis

Soccer fandom has traditionally been seen as an important part of adolescent, generally male, identity-making. In this timely and important contribution to the field of popular cultural studies, Steve Redhead looks at the way youth culture is being reshaped by media culture in its various aspects at the end of the millennium. He looks at 'post-fandom', the style conscious shifting allegiences heavily influenced by advertising and popular music at the globalization and mediatization of sports culture through such events as the World Cup staged in America in 1994 and at the complicated relations between football and the law reflected in the public obsession with so-called soccer hooliganism at a time when the phenomena concerned seemed to be dying away. Anyone interested in the increasingly complex interrelations between an acceleration, hyperreal popular culture and a sport which has symbolised more traditional social ties should read this book.

Excerpt

This book is the product of research over the last few years. The writing of the book was assisted by travel money provided for foreign visits to present papers to conferences abroad and to undertake further research: Florence, Italy (May 1990); Ottawa, Canada (November 1993); Gothenburg, Sweden (November 1993); and Vancouver, Canada (June to August 1994, and November 1996). In addition, ‘home’ seminars at University of Warwick Centre for the Study of Sport in Society and University of Westminster Centre for Law, Society and Popular Culture provided further discussion. I am grateful to those people and institutions who made those visits possible and thoroughly enjoyable. Many thanks to all those who contributed informal suggestions about the work: I am especially grateful to David Andrews, Susan Brownell, Andrew Ross, Matti Goksoyr, Mark Ferryman, Anne Coddington, Lincoln Allison, Simon Gardiner, Guy Osborn, Steve Greenfield, Alan Tomlinson, Ken Foster, John Sugden, John Williams, Richard Giulianotti, Adam Brown, Michael Day, Gonnie Rietveld and John Bale for their constructively critical comments. I am particularly indebted to Professor Rick Gruneau who hired me as a Visiting Professor in the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada in 1994 and 1996 and whose own (see, for example, Gruneau and Whitson, 1993) popular cultural study—especially of Hockey Night in Canada, the Canadian equivalent of Match of the Day—has been one inspiration for this book. In addition, David McArdle was a tireless Research Assistant on this and other Popular Cultural Studies projects. The other important context of the book was the making of a Granada TV Celebration arts programme (transmitted in the North West of England in August 1992 and presented at the Gothenburg and Warwick conferences) on the changes in post-fan youth culture, which was made with our assistance. Debts are owed to producer Mick Gold and his team for capturing the moment of transition in the regulation of post-youth, post-fan popular culture so well and making available the various interview transcripts used here.

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