Football : a study in diffusion
The subject of this thesis is the diffusion of the game of football, tracing its development back to the more prestigious English public schools, through the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and into adult society. Early club formation and the gradual nationalisation of the game throughout Britain, with particular reference to England and Scotland, is studied in detail. Careful examination is made of the initial meetings of the Football Association leading to the bifurcation of the sport into soccer and rugby. From that point the study concentrates on the Association form, looking especially at the emergence of professional players. The global diffusion of Association Football from the United Kingdom is also analysed. The underlying task of this study, however, is to test Eric Dunning's theory of status rivalry between the English public schools of Eton and Rugby, a rivalry which was partially expressed through the promotion of their particular styles of football.