soccer and nationalism

Essay by peopleschamp101University, Bachelor'sA, December 2013

download word file, 8 pages 0.0


Nationalism in the World Cup has become a causal mechanism for violence in soccer. It is where groups of individuals, in particular soccer hooligans, can prove their nation is the best but more importantly, their nation is 'tougher' than the rest.

There are four chief features that describe soccer hooliganism: individuals search for pleasure and excitement, hard masculinity, self-identification by neighborhood, and a sense of unity and brotherhood (Dunning, Murphy & Williams, 1988). Thus, in order to understand this social phenomenon, we must get past the simplified view society has used to stereotype soccer hooligans. We need to understand why and how soccer, specifically during the World Cup, is one of the favored contexts for engaging in antisocial behavior. Therefore, a multilevel analysis is required to give us insight into how and under what conditions soccer hooliganism is produced.

Soccer and nationalism are social constructs, phenomena that human beings have created and gave meaning to.

Under this paradigm, I have theorized using interactionist, functionalist, and critical theories to gain a better understanding of the issue of soccer and nationalism during the World Cup.

Firstly, interactionist theory helps us to understand how soccer hooligans form mutual friendships and boundaries through soccer as they interact with one another. Secondly, functionalist theory enables us to see the benefits of soccer and how it maintains the values and interests of everyone in society. Thirdly, through critical theory, we are better capable of understanding how proletarian communities fit into society. As well, how boundaries between fans of different nationalities are socially constructed. Finally, it is advised we educate our youth to develop better social skills in order to avert hooligan behavior.


An interactionist approach, in this context, would emphasize the role of relationships that football hooligans form to identify and...