The author locates football culture within the broader context of contemporary societies and social trends. As the game enters the new millennium, football′s global dimensions become increasingly apparent. Players, playing styles and supporter identities all travel beyond nations and continents more and more frequently. Yet major inequalities remain within football′s brave new world: working–class fans are replaced by middle–class consumers; women and non–whites continue to play marginal roles in most football nations; small football clubs and nations lose out to those with larger football markets.
Giulianotti examines systematically football′s key social aspects: the supporter cultures, the development of stadia, the business and television revolution, professional football players and the diversity of playing styles. The book draws upon the author′s research into football cultures in the UK, Europe, and North and South America, and uses a wealth of secondary source material.
This book represents a major contribution to sport and cultural studies, as well as to the social analysis of football.
1. The Essence of Football: the historical and social bases of the global game.
2. The Twentieth–century Sport: football, class and nation.
3. Spectator Cultures: passion at play in Europe and Latin America.
4. Football Grounds: emotional attachments and social control.
5. The Price of Victory: football finance and the television revolution.
6. Football′s Players: from local heroes to international stars.
7. The Goal of Winning? football, science, tactics and aesthetics.
8. The Cultural Politics of Play: ethnicity, gender and the ′post–fan′ mentality.
––John Williams, Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research, University of Leicester
"This book is full of insight, well written and with praiseworthy clarity of ideas. It is an important and synthetic work which covers the social and cultural complexity of football dealing with class, gender, ethnicity, business and nationalism. At the same time the inner meanings, the profound emotional attachments of the supporters, the role of football heroes and the aesthetics of the game are discussed in a fascinating comparative perspective. The comparison of the football world–views in the United Kingdom, Europe, South America and Africa is presented in a masterly way. Giulianotti has produced a pioneering book that surpasses by far previous and partial attempts to discuss the complexity of football."
––Eduardo P. Archetti, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo
"This study brings together more than 600 historical, anthropological, geographic, as well as sociological and theoretical sources, in an integrated analysis of world (association) football, or soccer.With a welcome eclecticism, Giulianotti draws upon Baudrillard, Bourdieu, Bakhtin, Giddens, Foucault, Goffman and Appadurai, among others, to relate to wider sociological debates."
––Alan Tomlinson, University of Brighton, British Journal of Sociology
"Football is a masterly example of soccer as an academic subject. Giulianotti′s knowledge of the sport is without question, while his grasp and application of theory is superb. In each subject area Giulianotti applies different theories to provide a detailed understanding of the game and its complexities ... Football is readable, original and its primary focus is the game. Although it has large theoretical content, it is never dry or obtrusive. Giulianotti′s pleasing style is crucial in making the book a success, and it should be considered as a seminal text in the field of football academia." (International Sports Studies)
"A comprehensive and studied project that ably expresses the maturity and significance of Giulianotti′s work ... One cannot help but be impressed by Football′ssheer substantive range, within which Giulianotti displays an enviable knowledge and command of a myriad of national football cultures." (Soccer and Society)