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Keeping the Peace: Social Identity, Procedural Justice and the Policing of Football Crowds

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 52 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2012 Pages: 381-399
Clifford Stott; James Hoggett; Geoff Pearson
Date Published
March 2012
19 pages
This paper explores the relevance of the Elaborated Social Identity Model of Crowd Behaviour and Procedural Justice Theory.
This paper explores the relevance of the Elaborated Social Identity Model of Crowd Behavior 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 Cluba 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, the authors 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 the study 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. (Published Abstract)