Social interaction in the policing of Scottish football
Since the late 1960s, the sociological studies of policing and of football culture/hooliganism have been increasingly steadily. However, few authors have considered how these areas overlap, namely, the sociology of football policing. This thesis represents the first detailed ethnographic study of police officers and stewards at football matches and their relationships with the supporters. Research was conducted via participant observation and interviews and focused on the police perspective of events. The work of Erving Goffman facilitated this research by highlighting the various interaction teams that are present among the police and the stewards, and how each team interacts with the football supporters in different ways. The supporters and the police/stewards interact according to understood (but not formally recognised) rules of behaviour. Only when these informal rules are violated do the police utilise their legally granted powers. This division of the police into separate interaction teams suggests that the police only appear on the surface to be a united force, but in fact operate as several differentiated units. In addition, this study has suggested some developments to Goffman's ideas, such as the hierarchical relationships among certain interaction teams and the possibility that two teams can co-operate in staging the same performance. The Appendix contains a reflection on the roles gender, nationality and educational background played in executing the methodology.