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Title: Supporting the fans : learning-disability, football fandom and social exclusion
Author: Southby, Kris
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 9456
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2013
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In Britain, within the contemporary drive of using sport to tackle the isolation of socially excluded groups, association football (football) fandom has been implicated in many policy documents as a possible site for learning-disabled people to become more socially included. However, whilst there is some evidence of the benefits of playing football for learning-disabled people, there is little evidence to support these claims. Drawing on empirical data from learning-disabled people about their experiences of football fandom and from relevant authorities responsible for facilitating the fandom of learning-disabled people, this thesis provides a critical analysis of the opportunities to tackle social exclusion that football fandom provides learning-disabled people. This includes examining the experience of football fandom for the learning-disabled people involved, any opportunities for social inclusion football fandom provides, and the response of relevant football authorities to learning-disabled fans. The thesis concludes that whilst football fandom offers social benefits to learning-disabled people in terms of opportunities for social interaction, a sense of belonging and a shared social identity that go some way towards tackling their social exclusion, football fandom is unlikely to result in the 'social inclusion' characterised by Government.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available