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Title: Cultures of resistance and compliance : football fandom and political engagement in Manchester
Author: Porter, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 5957
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis presents an interpretative analysis of contemporary football culture in Manchester, as it encounters and reacts to significant structural transformations between the years 2003 and 2009. Of prime concern therefore is how locally constituted elements of cultural identification react to processes of globalisation and 'hyper-commodification' (Giulianotti, 2002). While the research field retains a relatively broad local focus on football fandom in Manchester, its core findings rest predominantly on the politicised culture observed within independently organised formations of Manchester United supporters before, during and after the club's 2005 takeover by Malcolm Glazer. Manchester City's 2003 move from their traditional home at Maine Road, and the club's subsequent takeovers, first by Thaksin Shinawatra and more recently by the Abu Dhabi United Group, provide fascinating parallel context due mainly to the lack of oppositional organisation and discourse amongst the club's support. This is highlighted particularly emphatically when the Manchester United supporters' 'breakaway' club FC United of Manchester is considered, although the more compliant characteristics in football fandom generally are acknowledged throughout. A critical research paradigm ensures that due consideration is taken of what Raymond Williams called the "structuring formations", within which these experiences and understandings occur (Gibson, 2000: 264). This account draws upon the researcher's immersed perspective to examine how traditional notions of authenticity are articulated and understood within English football culture. Findings in the immediate context of Manchester reveal high levels of cultural capital attached to values of loyalty and local identity, which impact significantly on attempts to mobilise supporter opposition. The possibilities and limitations within football supporter culture for exerting meaningful resistance are therefore assessed, along with the potential for such struggles to foster wider politicised outlooks. The ambivalence of cultural engagement means that continuity and change are never far apart, with culture found to facilitate, often simultaneously, both a yearning for what might be along with a fear for what might be lost.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available