Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Patriot games

06.06.2006


Jingoism in the run up and during the World Cup may coerce people to sport the England flag for fear of exclusion, an academic from the University of Leicester has warned.



European historian George Ferzoco said visible minorities in particular could feel they need to be seen to be ’patriotic’ as World Cup fever grips the country.

He said: "I am worried that some may fear exclusion. Witness the recent front page of a major national newspaper. It presented a series of photos of people of many ethnicities (especially some very visible ones) draped in the Cross of Saint George. Some members of the ethnic groups represented on that page may feel they absolutely must wave the flag. Why? For fear of being thought of as somehow anti-English, even if they don’t care about football or the World Cup."


Sociologist John Williams argues that ethnic minority support for football demonstrates how far the game has gone to try to divest itself of racist associations:

"I think the signs of more ethnic minority England support suggests that at least some of the racist associations of the national team have been reasonably successfully challenged. The Cross of St George was promoted by England fans to get away from the right wing associations of the Union Jack. I think this has been successful, especially as the England flag has become a sort of fashion accessory and object of consumption as well as a signifier for the national team."

Social scientist Professor Martin Parker argues that still more needs to be done to disassociate flagwaving with xenophobia:

"I think the link between the flag and right wing extremist groups is now too strong to simply be reclaimed by four weeks of football. Not everyone who flies the Union Jack is a little Englander, or a member of the BNP, but the connection is certainly there. What seems more important is to invent a form of pride in Englishness that does not involve suggesting that all foreigners aren’t as good as us. Too often, the flag is flown defensively, rather than in celebration of something."

Professor Parker added that the World Cup provided people with an opportunity to assert a sense of national identity: "I suspect this is largely because it involves people who identify as English being encouraged to drag out some tired old stereotypes and histories. They then call these patriotism. In addition, football is the English mass sport, and its commercialisation over the past twenty years has allowed a certain flag waving to be sold by virtually every provider of consumer goods for a few months. As if buying a particular brand of beer was patriotic?

"The question arises: What is ’Englishness’? I have never seen it defined as anything other than ’tolerance’. If this is the case, then I assume no-one would be labelled as un-English for not wearing an England top."

The academics agreed that many fans were more loyal and enthusiastic about the fortunes of their own clubs than the national team:

Professor Parker said: "I would rather see Stoke City get promoted to the premiership than have England win the World Cup. I suspect that is the case with lots of fans of their local clubs. I don’t think fans of ’lesser’ clubs are more fanatical about England, but do think it is possible that ’glory-hunting’ fans who now support the big commercial clubs might be more interested in wrapping themselves in the flag for a few weeks. Or flying them from their cars."

John Williams adds: "My club is Liverpool and yes I would much rather they win something than England. I think fans of the top clubs - especially those that play in Europe - are less tied to England though there are also regional effects, with parts of the South and the North - but less so, perhaps parts of the ’Irish’ North West being strong England fans."

And George Ferzoco concludes: "It’s a game, it’s fun, and it is very often about re-connecting with one’s old roots for a short while. Let people support whomever they want to support, for whatever reason."

Alex Jelley | alfa
Further information:
http://www2.le.ac.uk/ebulletin/bulletin-board/2000-2009/2006/04/nparticle-nbn-6yf-7md
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>