Football fandom: And post-subculture

Stephen Redhead

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    This chapter on Fandom looks at the development of the notion of 'post-subculture' and the effect on studies of fandom, especially football fandom, its use has had, and might have in the future. Debates about what John Hughson has referred to as the 'end of subculture'™ (Hughson, 2008, Redhead, 2008b, Bennett, 2011, Bennett and Kahn-Harris, 2004, Huq, 2006) have persisted for a decade frequently spawning intriguing, even aggressive (King, 2002), arguments between participants and involving some pertinent critique of the original use of post-subculture and subculture as terms to employ in the cultural study of fandom and '˜subcultural style' (Hebdige, 1979), in popular music, sport and fashion, and in football fans' place in culture and society more generally (Armstrong and Testa, 2010). These arguments, of course, go back a long way into the twentieth century, as Shane Blackman has pointed out at least until the Chicago school of the 1920s (Blackman, 2005), but they have'accelerated' sharply in the early years of the twenty-first century as, in football fandom studies, notions of new 'consumer fans' (King, 2002) have vied with concepts of 'carnival fans'™ (Pearson, 2012). The notion of postmodern tribe, or'˜neo-tribe'™, deriving from the work of Michel Maffesoli (Bennett, 2005), has also received considerable discussion in the context of football and its fan communities as has the idea of liquid fandom inspired by the work of Zygmunt Bauman (Blackshaw and Crabbe, 2004, Dixon, 2012). I want to assess here some elements of these debates and critique the possibilities of deploying post-subculture as an idea in the context of disciplines like critical criminology (DeKeseredy, and Dragiewicz, 2011) and cultural studies (Turner G., 2012) and their various interdisciplinary developments, especially in the area of fandom and football culture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge handbook of football studies
    EditorsJohn Hughson, Kevin Moore, Ramon Spaaij, Joseph Maguire
    Place of PublicationOxon, United Kingdom
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9780203066430
    ISBN (Print)9780415815109
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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