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The paradoxes of football spectatorship : on field and online expressions of social capital among the 'Grog Squad'.

Palmer, C. and Thompson, K. (2007) 'The paradoxes of football spectatorship : on field and online expressions of social capital among the 'Grog Squad'.', Sociology of sport journal., 24 (2). pp. 187-205.


In this article we examine the cultural practices of a group of South Australian football supporters known as the “Grog Squad.” While hard drinking is undeniably a central part of this group of exclusively male fans, being a “Groggie” is much more than just being in a boozy boys club. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork undertaken throughout the 2005 South Australian football season, as well as Internet research, we argue that the style of support engaged in by the Grog Squad represents a paradox for how we typically understand football fans. On the one hand, much of the language and behavior of the Grog Squad is characteristic of the aggressive masculinity common in male contact sports. On the other, being a Groggie provides access to a range of resources, benefits, networks, and supports that confound many of the popular assumptions about male social relationships in sport. To explain the arrant sexism and homophobia of the Grog Squad simply in terms of hegemonic masculinity is to obscure the very real social supports and connections (best described as social capital) that are often overlooked in studies of male sports fans. Dans cet article, nous examinons les pratiques culturelles d’un groupe de fans du football du sud de l’Australie appelé le « Grog Squad ». Quoique la consommation excessive d’alcool soit un élément central de ce groupe exclusivement masculin, être un « Groggie », c’est beaucoup plus que de faire partie d’un club de buveurs. A partir d’une recherche sur l’Internet et d’un travail ethnographique réalisé pendant la saison de football de 2005, nous suggérons que le type de soutien qu’offre le Grog Squad représente un paradoxe en ce qui a trait à la façon typique de comprendre les fans du football. Ainsi, le langage et les comportements du Grog Squad sont caractéristiques d’une masculinité agressive qui prévaut dans les sports de contact masculins, mais être un Groggie permet un accès à un éventail de ressources, de réseaux et de soutiens qui vont à l’encontre de plusieurs présuppositions sur les relations sociales masculines en sport. Expliquer le sexisme et l’homophobie du Grog Squad simplement en termes de masculinité hégémonique, c’est voiler les soutiens et les liens sociaux réels (le « capital social ») qui sont souvent négligés dans les études sur les fans en sport.

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Record Created:08 Aug 2008
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:37

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