English national identity and the national football team: The view of contemporary English fans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)
231 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The English St George Cross has recently become more prominent than the British Union Jack among English football fans. Some authors assume this to be evidence that a specifically English national consciousness is arising. However, the ways in which English fans describe their own national identity and their feelings towards the national football team have not been the primary focus of previous research. In order to explore this area further, online questionnaires were disseminated among various fan groups during the 2006 World Cup, the 2008 European Championships and the summer of 2009, gleaning a total of 1355 valid responses. Frequencies were calculated for answers to multiple-choice items and answers to open response items were categorized using a qualitative coding approach. Findings indicate that the relationship between English national identity and support for the national team is more complex than the increased display of the St George Cross suggests. Specifically, English articulations of identity were not homogenous among English football fans: British, local and even European layers of identity were considered to be more important to some fans. Also, the relationship between English national identity and feeling represented by the national team was often dependent on their success. Finally, results signified a complex relationship between fans' support for their English club and their support for the England team, which was often related to club location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-879
Number of pages15
JournalSoccer and Society
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'English national identity and the national football team: The view of contemporary English fans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this