Aage Radmann disputerar på avhandling om fotbollshuliganer i medierna

aage-radmannDet är med största nöje som idrottsforum.org härmed kan tillkännage att Aage Radmann, vars betydelse för forumets uppkomst och utveckling inte kan överskattas, nu ska disputera! Den 8 mars 2013, kl. 13.15, i sal D 138, Malmö högskola Orkanen, Nordenskiöldsgatan 10, framlägger han, med vederbörligt tillstånd av Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle vid Malmö högskola, sin doktorsavhandling

Huliganlandskapet

Medier, våld och maskuliniteter

för att offentligt försvara den mot angrepp från fakultetsopponenten, professorn och generaldirektören Per Nilsson, Ungdomsstyrelsen, från ledamöter i betygsnämnden, och från allmänheten.

Det kan kanske vara på sin plats att här nämna att Aages licentiatavhandling från 1999 hade titeln Fotbollslandskapet: Fotboll som socialt fenomen. I någon mening handlar ju den nya avhandlingen också om fotboll som social fenomen, om än med väsentligt annorlunda förtecken.

På följande sätt sammanfattar författaren sin doktorsavhandling:

The purpose of this thesis is to understand and explain how the narrative image of the Swedish hooligan and hooliganism is created and recreated in various (media) descriptions. The thesis consists of four articles and one summarising chapter. Different types of media and in-depth interviews constitute the source material for the study, which provides new insights into Swedish hooligan culture. One important conclusion of the study is that hooliganism is understood differently depending on the beholder’s position in the hooligan landscape.

The key conclusions of the study are (1) that media images in both old and new media have strengthened the individual and collective identity of members of the hooligan cultures, (2) that physical as well as symbolic violence is an important aspect of the hooligan narrative in both old and new media (3) that supporter violence has been professionalised, (4) that hooligan culture manifests a number of different (and sometimes contradictory) masculinity traits and (5) that the stigma attached to the expansion and character of hooliganism and the resulting anxiety has elements of a moral panic in the population.

My conclusions both support and problematize existing research on hooliganism and the media. Whilst traditional media had the sole right of interpreting the phenomenon and exercised this right through selection criteria and gatekeeper functions, the new media landscape is producing a multitude of voices and descriptions of hooliganism. Today, there are numerous “prosumers” – actors who both produce and consume media images of hooliganism, and it is significant to understand that hooligans themselves are amongst these “prosumers”.

Moreover hooliganism is also part of a pop-cultural hypertextuality in the digital landscape. The descriptions of both symbolic and physical violence vary greatly between different types of media. The old media describes the violence as meaningless while new media producers, hooligans in particular, describe violence as important and essential to the sense of community and camaraderie in the hooligan culture. Many hooligans describe experiencing a powerful sense of euphoria during fights. The source material indicates a professionalization of violence; elements of the firm culture claim to have a monopoly on violence, stating that only firms are allowed to decide who can fight “in the club’s name”. The old media perpetuates the stigmatisation of different supporter categories, but the stigma is even greater in some new media. The traditional media image of the “hooligan” is a “moron who cares nothing about sport”, while the hooligans perceive themselves as “guys with style and class”, who love their team, only fight like-minded people and adhere to a shared honour code. The hooligan culture manifests several different masculinity characteristics. Hooligans are expected to be tough, strong and not to be “pussies”, but emotions, community and camaraderie are emphasised as equally important ingredients within the subculture.

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