Football and cultural identity in Glasgow and Liverpool
This project examines the relationship between football, the media and the constitution and reconstitution of cultural identities within Glasgow and Liverpool. It explores the extent to which a range of contemporary religious, political and national identities can be understood by focusing on the role that football and the support for particular clubs, play in their formation. Throughout, there is a concern with the relationship between supporters, the clubs, the media and identity-formation. There is also a realisation of the importance of placing this material within an histo rical framework, which emphasises how political, economic and social changes have all shaped the specific relationships in each city. This is achieved through the use of a number of case studies. The geographical areas used for the studies are the west of Scotland and the north-west of England, with specific attention focused on the cities of Glasgow and Liverpool and the football supporters within these cities. There has long been a strong connection between football and a range of social identities in these two cities. This study examines the theoretical debates regarding issues of the formation of identity in contemporary society, and argues for the need to have contextually grounded studies informing these broader theoretical discussions. This project, focusing on religious, political and cultural expressions of collective identity, emphasises the continual need to be wary of unproblematically allocating a central role to the media in any process of identity-formation. It suggests that in the cities of Glasgow and Liverpool today a range of more socially and historically grounded factors are crucial in understanding the configurations of collective expression which football support provides for many in these cities.