Skip to main content

Land of hope and glory: Englishness, imperialism and audiences of major sport events.

Loveman, E., 2023. Land of hope and glory: Englishness, imperialism and audiences of major sport events. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

Full text available as:

LOVEMAN, Edward_Ph.D._2023.pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



At the time of writing, public debate about the imperialism associated with ‘Englishness’ and subsequent marginalisation of ‘other’ identities has become increasingly salient. From the European Union Referendum to the mourning of Elizabeth II’s passing, explicit displays of the contention between identity, hierarchy and privilege are plentiful. But what of those everyday practices and spaces in which the boundaries of an imagined national community are enacted? In conjunction with other day-to-day sources of nationhood – literature, religion, monarchy, and so forth – sport is an omnipresent domain in which individual fears about being and belonging are played out. This thesis examines the cultural significance of high-profile major sport events (MSEs) to audiences’ production, embodiment and creation of ‘Englishness.’ It begins with a postcolonial reading of ‘Englishness’ that considers the interplay of imperialism, nationhood and sport viewership. Following this, a philosophical discussion about the nature of truth and knowledge serves as the entry point for broader consideration of the sensory experience of participant households/families watching MSEs. Through a methodology based on “watching people watching” MSEs, this work engages with the mundane, everyday and taken-for-granted parts of sport viewership through which imperial imaginaries, ‘othering’ processes, English exceptionalism and forms of ‘motivated ignorance’ remain unnoticed and unchallenged in the practices of MSE audiences. I argue that participants were (re)defining, (re)producing and (re)enforcing social hierarchies of belonging based on arbitrary characteristics of an imperially defined ‘Englishness’ and highlighting a collective responsibility for inequity. This thesis therefore contributes to dialogues at the intersection of imperialism, nationalism and sport viewership by presenting the ‘concrete’ ways in which – actively unaware or otherwise – difference may be enacted.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:39666
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:03 Apr 2024 15:51
Last Modified:03 Apr 2024 15:51


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -