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Towards understanding : antisemitism and the contested uses and meanings of ‘Yid’ in English football.

Poulton, E. (2016) 'Towards understanding : antisemitism and the contested uses and meanings of ‘Yid’ in English football.', Ethnic and racial studies., 39 (11). pp. 1981-2001.


This article addresses an omission in the currently brief body of work on antisemitism in football and contributes to and advances wider sociological debates in the sub-disciplines of race and ethnicity, religion, linguistics and sport. The article examines antisemitic discourse in English football and in doing so, explains the different uses and meanings of ‘Yid’ in the vernacular culture of fans. While many conceive of ‘Yid’ as an ethnic epithet, fans of Tottenham Hotspur – Gentiles and Jews – have appropriated and embraced the term, using it to deflect the antisemitic abuse they are targeted with due to their ‘Jewish identity’. The study maps the contested uses of ‘Yid’ on a continuum to explain and demarcate between the nuanced forms of antisemitism in football. It makes central the cultural context in which ‘Yid’ is used, together with the intent underpinning its use, since epithets and slurs are not simply determined by their lexical form.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Ethnic and Racial Studies on 16/02/2016, available online at:
Record Created:17 May 2016 12:50
Last Modified:20 Aug 2017 00:50

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