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Football, Ethnicity and Community

The Life of an African-Caribbean Football Club

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Paul Ian Campbell

Winner of the British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2017

This book is a case study of an African-Caribbean-founded football club, Meadebrook Cavaliers, from the English East Midlands. Covering the years 1970 to 2010, it seeks to address the paucity of research on the British African-Caribbean male experience in leisure and sport as well as on the relationship between «race» and local-level football. The development of the club was intimately connected to wider changes in the social and sporting terrain. Based on a mix of archival and ethnographic research, the book examines the club’s growth over four decades, exploring the attitudes, social realities and identity politics of its African-Caribbean membership and the varying demands and expectations of the wider black community. In doing so, it shows how studies of minority ethnic and local football clubs can shed light on the changing social identities and cultural dynamics of the communities that constitute them.

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Chapter 2: Combining history and sociology to write ‘black’ sport

Extract

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CHAPTER 2

Combining history and sociology to write ‘black’ sport

Introduction

As a case study which combines history and sociology, this book is methodologically different to more traditional sociology and history work. This book aims to be what Hadfield and Malcolm might describe as historical sociology because it attempts to widen our sociological understanding of a particular group and their experiences through ‘a commitment to understanding sport and society through an historical approach’.1 By the same token it attempts to present a historical narrative which is informed by social theory.2

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