Hooligans, subcultura e media. Una ricostruzione del dibattito accademico = Hooligans, subculture and the media. A reconstruction of the academic debate


Abstract


Hooliganism is one of the phenomena that in the last decades – at least in England – have attracted both public and academic attention. It takes on the features of youth subculture, different from the prevailing social canons, in which class membership, masculine values, aggression, local prestige, territorial defence and group symbols have been transferred into the sphere of football. This subculture has repeatedly been defined as deviant. The academic studies that over the years have focused on hooliganism's subcultural factors have often applied their theoretical-analytical framework to the analysis of the role of the media (the press, first of all) with respect to the definition of the phenomenon, to the construction or social consolidation of public concern, and to the setting up of contrast measures. In short, subculture theories have often dialogued with theories and analyses focused on media amplification and deviancy amplification (or de-amplification, in some socio-historical contexts). This article aims to offer a reconstruction of the main points of the debate on the subject – with a focus on the most recent studies in the English-speaking academic context – which started from the arguments outlined by Stanley Cohen and Stuart Hall and then proceeded along further lines. In many cases the analyses have been inspired by contributions from cultural studies and have applied these interpretative ideas to a changing reality. Anyway, all those studies have always led to highlight – each one with its own different shades – the complex relationship between supporters, media representation, entertainment, commercial interests and audience attraction, mechanisms of construction of shared meanings and fears, definition of contrast policies, forms of power and security management.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n21p85

Keywords: Hooliganism; subculture; media; deviancy; infotainment; security

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