‘Keeping the Peace’ social identity, procedural justice and the policing of football crowds
Stott , C., Hoggett , J. and Pearson, G. (2011) ‘Keeping the Peace’ social identity, procedural justice and the policing of football crowds. The British Journal of Criminology , 52 (2). pp. 381-399. ISSN 0007-0955
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azr076
This paper explores the relevance of the Elaborated Social Identity Model of Crowd Behaviour and Procedural Justice Theory to an understanding of both the presence and absence of collective conflict during football (soccer) crowd events. It provides an analysis of data gathered during longitudinal ethnographic study of fans of Cardiff City Football Club—a group of supporters with a notorious history of involvement in ‘hooliganism’ within the English domestic Football Leagues. The analysis suggests that the perceived legitimacy among fans of the way they were policed affected the internal dynamics, patterns of collective action and overall levels of ‘compliance’ among the fan group. On this basis, we contend that these processes mediated both a long-term decline but also the sporadic re-emergence of collective conflict during crowd events involving the fans. The paper concludes by exploring the implications of our analysis for informing policy, practice and theory, particularly with respect to the importance of policing with consent as a route to conflict reduction in domestic football.