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"Critically analyse the construction of 'race'/ethnicity in the context of a particular sporting subculture: What's the difference between black and white, or is it white and black? A critical analysis on the perceptions of racism in English soccer.

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Introduction

"Critically analyse the construction of 'race'/ethnicity the context of a particular sporting subculture: What's the difference between black and white, or is it white and black? A critical analysis on the perceptions of racism in English soccer from fans, players and the media." Although sport has long been associated with a myth that it offers an avenue of social mobility for socio-economically deprived groups (Maguire, in Jarive 1991; Jones, 2002), racism continues to be a problem in football across Europe. Racism in football (since the first black players emerged) has always been a problem, many perceive that it will always remain a problem, however most are hopeful that in time the problem will be eradicated. But what actually constitutes racism? Does it have to be overt; from white Right-Wing Neo-Nazi's and/or football hooligans protesting against the presence of coloured individuals in the game, can it be covert institutional racism where black players have to try harder to impress (and therefore succeed) in comparison to white players to prove their worth in the game, or is it yet another form of racism from the unsuspecting, i.e. football commentators complimenting white players of 'intelligent' passing or runs off the ball, and the constant referral to black players for their strength and speed? ...read more.

Middle

Indeed, Wharton's sporting talents also extended onto the athletics track, where he gained national recognition as A.A.A.100 yards champion in 1886, becoming the first British athlete to run under ten seconds in both heats and finals (Vasili, 1998). Vasili is accountable for much of the research of black footballers prior to the 1950's. Vasili's account's of the torrid racist abuse the versatile West African had to put up with indicate that from the minute a "Darkie" (Vasili, 1998) played in England they were under scrutiny from opposing white others. The shot-stopper cum winger was highly thought of by team-mates as well as local supporters. Wharton enjoyed popular celebrity status, and was interviewed by the local press and in Athletic Journal', at that time one of the leading sports magazines in this country; however, it wasn't uncommon for reporters to refer to Wharton in a racist manor. He was referred to as "Darkie, Nigger, Othello, Coloured Colonial, South African, West Indian and a Gentleman of Colour" by a number of different media. When Wharton went to a Lancashire based club he was described as 'new caught' game; one paper went on to say "Stalybridge Rovers have bagged a real nigger as goalkeeper in Wharton, who is none other than the "Darkie" who used to guard the North End at Citadel" (Vasili, 1998). ...read more.

Conclusion

colonies, most of whom had been persuaded to leave their country of origin in order to meet the growing labour shortage in Britain. This was to have an impact (albeit, limited at that time) upon professional football in this country. As is, in many ways, the case with today's transfer market, the shortage of quality home players led to increasing competition and inevitably pushed transfer fees upwards beyond the scope of many clubs. This moved many club scouts to look abroad for less expensive 'foreign' talent and thus, increased the numbers of non-British born black players playing in England. Prior to the 1950's and indeed possibly the 1960's it was very uncommon to see black footballers, but nowadays it is commonplace. In fact, around 25% of all professional footballers in Britain are black. However, in the 1993/1994 season Carling survey of Premier League fans, only 1% of fans described themselves as non-white. It is argued that this is due to a prevalence of racism amongst traditional soccer fans (Social Issues Research Group [SIRC] http://www.sirc.org). In the post-war era, black players have infiltrated the football league, growing in numbers and recognition. With this, the racism and stigmas toward these 'colonial' players also grew from the late 1970's onwards. Z0222143 Sociology Summative Assignment 1 1 ...read more.

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