University of Leicester
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Racisms and anti-racist strategies in English football

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:41 authored by Steven Bradbury
This thesis examines racisms and anti-racist strategies in English football, with particular focus on the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. The analysis begins by considering the roots of racisms in British society and British sport. The thesis then moves on to examine in more detail the development both of racisms in English football and of campaigns to limit their effects among fans, clubs and professional bodies. A central theme of this analysis concerns the heterogeneity of racisms, and the range of sites and local contexts in which they operate, in sport and elsewhere. The main body of the thesis is devoted to an investigation of racism in English football during the 1980s, 1990s and early 21st century. Special attention is focused on three themes. First, the development of national campaigns designed to confront racism in football. These include major political initiatives, such as the Labour government's Football Task Force, but also non-governmental campaigns such as AGARI and Kick It Out. Second, the responses of professional clubs to such nationally-driven campaigns and agendas. This issue is explored by drawing on original survey data. Third, the aims and activities of two contrasting local anti-racism football projects in the North and Midlands of England. A lengthy critical analysis of these projects is provided, utilising data generated by observational and interview techniques. The thesis concludes by assessing the efficacy of local, national and political anti-racist campaigns. The discussion considers their conceptualisation of racism and its effects, as well as their support, or otherwise, within English football at both the local and national levels. The thesis also seeks to consider the extent to which such initiatives can effect real change at the local level whilst addressing some of the wider sources of racisms in English football and beyond.


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Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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