England expects: English newspapers' narratives about the English football team in the 2006 World Cup
Abbreviated Journal Title
Int. Rev. Sociol. Sport
media; national identity; textual analysis; NATIONAL IDENTITY; PRESS; Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism; Sociology
The essence of global sports has been competition among nations at the international level. For football, arguably the world's most popular sport, global rivalries are paramount, and every four years since 1930, it has been the World Cup that has provided this excitement. English newspaper narratives about the English men's national football team competing in the 2006 World Cup were examined to gain insight into how English national identity was portrayed. Using a qualitative textual analysis methodology, this study drew on Anderson's (1983) theory of the imagined community, Hobsbawm's (1983) notion of invented traditions, and the Eliasian (1991) concept of habitus codes. Set against the contemporary trends of devolution, globalization, and a post-7/7 discourse the newspapers relied on a reductionist, essentialist construction to elicit an emotional connection with a homogenous form of English national identity. The narratives seemed designed to galvanize support for the English team through references to historic English military victories and speeches. These served to rekindle images of bygone, mythical, and imperialistic eras. The newspapers also reverted to an 'us vs them' invective in blaming Swedish manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, for England's failure to win the tournament with the 'greatest generation'.
International Review for the Sociology of Sport
"England expects: English newspapers' narratives about the English football team in the 2006 World Cup" (2010). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 907.