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Football, Ethnicity and Community

The Life of an African-Caribbean Football Club


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 6: Re-inventing Cavaliers: Recession, modernisation and processes of ‘respectability’


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Re-inventing Cavaliers: Recession, modernisation and processes of ‘respectability’


In 2008 economies across the globe were destabilised by what has since been termed the ‘credit crunch’. Hamil and Walters argue that this development brought about a global economic slowdown on a scale not witnessed since the great depression of the 1930s.1 Perhaps it is still too early, but there exists relatively little research on the impact of this recession on local level sport. Similarly lacking – unsurprisingly – are academic investigations into the ways in which the harsh economic conditions which characterise post-2008 Britain have impacted upon those football and sporting spaces of specific BAME communities.

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