Football Hooliganism in Great Britain: A Historical Overview.

Essay by jobbieUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, January 2004

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Football Hooliganism in Great Britain

A Historical Overview

Aims and objectives

Although this report concentrates on the historical aspects of football hooliganism, it will over lap and refer to occasions to other aspects such as social issues and politics. As a historical overview this study will not pinpoint dates of significant relevance but also try to establish why these events have taken place. The author will identify the issues that are associated with football hooliganism such as the 'working class' involvement in early football, youth movements, and relevance of the wars, social issues, politics, alcohol, football disasters and the use of technology in the modern day.


Episodes of violence associated are relatively infrequent, but the occasional violent events, which attract great media attention, have their roots in the rituals of matches, the loyalties and identities of players and the crowds and the wider cultures and politics of the host societies.

There has been a marked consistency in the academic questions asked of British football hooliganism, pertaining to definition, social ascription and action. Why is it that particular social practices are designated 'football hooliganism'?

Which social groups are identified as 'football hooligans' and by whom?

Where are the clear demarcations or grey areas between particular modes of fan behaviour, in terms of fanaticism, 'hooliganism' or generally expressive sport?

The fundamental thesis of the study is that football hooliganism is a social phenomenon, which is deeply rooted in two main ways. It is rooted first because, contrary to popular belief, forms of it in this country have been frequent ever since the 1870s and 1880s, the period when the game emerged as a recognisably modern form. The incidence has varied considerably over time, but findings have shown there has been a period in the history of modern football when spectacular disorderliness...