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Spectator Racism in Three Professional Men’s Football Codes in Australia: Observations from White Spectators.

Cleland, J., Adair, D., Parry, K. and MacDonald, C., 2024. Spectator Racism in Three Professional Men’s Football Codes in Australia: Observations from White Spectators. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1177/10126902241251


This article explores spectator racism across three high-profile professional men’s football codes in Australia (Australian Football League, National Rugby League, and the A-League). To pursue this goal, the study conducted an online survey from April 2021 to June 2021, securing 2,047 responses. Our focus in this article centres on those participants who self-identified as White to gather their insights on racism as they witnessed and understood it being expressed in the context of attending a professional men’s football code match in Australia. Applying Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus to theorise why some White spectators overtly express racist language and behaviour, our findings indicated the resilience of Whiteness as a source of power and domination, with many White participants reporting they had witnessed racial bigotry in recent years. Concurrently, many demonstrated anti-racist sensibilities, expressing frustration that change has been limited, if at all. Some participants suggested racism is an individual failing rather than being subject to institutions and community norms. From that perspective, racism is viewed as a personal choice rather than a failure of society.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Racism; Sport; Australia; Sports fans; Inclusion
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:39698
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:16 Apr 2024 06:48
Last Modified:13 May 2024 08:09


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