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Sports Crowd Violence: An Interdisciplinary Synthesis

NCJ Number
246731
Journal
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume: 19 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2014 Pages: 146-155
Author(s)
Ramón Spaaij
Date Published
April 2014
Length
10 pages
Annotation
This article discusses the need for developing a multi-level analysis of the causes of sports crowd violence.
Abstract
Research has shown that crowd violence is a regular feature at many spectator sports around the world. This article discusses the need for developing a multi-level analysis of the causes of sports crowd violence. The article presents information on the various definitions used to refer to sports-related violence. Seven categories have been identified as referring to this particular form of violence. These categories are assault, fighting, verbal abuse, pitch invasion, discharge of missile, vandalism, and terrorism. Research has also identified five key distinctions along the continua of sports crowd violence: individual versus collective violence; spontaneous versus organized violence; expressive versus instrumental violence; issue-relevant and issue-irrelevant violence; and legitimate versus illegitimate violence. In order to more fully understand sports crow violence, this paper proposes that different approaches emanating from different academic disciplines could be brought together to allow for a more fuller analysis of the problem. This model would consider the dynamic interplay between individual, interpersonal, situational, environmental, and social structural factors. Future research in this area should consider the connections between the five sets of factors. Figures and references