Institutionen för idrottsvetenskap, Malmö högskola
Creating a (hooligan) narrative: Media’s construction of football violence
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to interpret and analyze the phenomenon of football hooliganism as presented in “old” print media and “new” digital media. A central issue explored in this article is possible differences between descriptions of the event in the old and new media. Research of the old media’s concept of hooliganism shows that media can create a panic that leads to demands for stricter regulations. In this article I have tried to demonstrate that discussions are even more fierce in some types of new media.
It is difficult to clearly distinguish between old and new media. Descriptions and interpretations of the football landscape in the old media create the impression that Swedish football has o problem with meaningless violence and increasing hooliganism. The “high-risk supporters” are depicted as a serious threat to Swedish football, and as enemies of football in general. However, this narrative is also repeated by parts of the new media. In the article, I contextualize (media) images of a hooligan event and make visible the power struggle between different media actors around the question of “good football culture” versus “hooliganism”, a tug-of-war that will affect the Swedish football landscape to the core.
About the Author
AAGE RADMANN is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sport Sciences, Malmö University, Sweden. Aage is a social scientist and his main research interests are within sociology of sport, sport and media, football culture and hooliganism. His research is inspired both from traditional sociology and theories about the new media context. He uses the football landscape as a prism to understand the interplay between individuals (e.g. hooligans), groups (football firms vs. police forces), and on a structural level (media and identity). His latest publications are “The Structure of Sport Violence” – (Idrottsvåldets karaktär, 2012) for the Swedish National Inquiry in Sport and Violence, SOU 2012:23, p 235-304, and “The New Media and Hooliganism” (2012), in We love to hate each other. Mediated Football Fan culture, Krövel & Roksvold (eds.), Gothenburg, Sweden: Nordicom.
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