Role of Sports in the Formation of Personal Identities. Studies in Community Loyalties

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This is a collection of essays examining the role of sports in shaping personal and national identity. Studies ranging from skateboarding as resistance to conformity, cricket and the imagined community of Yorkshire, gender identity and rock climbing, and violence in soccer, among others are offered in this text. A theme the authors discuss at length is how communities are formed on the basis of sports, and how different identities emerge out of these shared experiences, and whether there is a socio-political aspect to this process.


“The authors are to be congratulated as collectively they have stimulated my interest, motivation, and natural nosiness… leaving me wanting to know more about their work.”

-Prof. Chris Hallinan,
Monash University

“The text serves as an introduction to how the concept of identity can be applied to sporting matters, and as an overview of the states of play debate where interaction between sport and identity lies.”

-Prof. Wray Vamplew,
University of Stirling

Table of Contents

Sport and Identity – Introduction by John Hughson

1. Workers Fields: Sport, Politics, and Landscape in Inter-War South Wales by Daryl Leeworthy

2. Yorkshire, Cricket and Identity: An Ethnographic Analysis of Yorkshire Cricket’s Imagined Community by Thomas Fletcher

3. The Weight of Shame: Discourses of Health on the N’s Student Body by Tiffany Henning

4. ‘We’re Not English, we are Scouse!’: Examining Civic Loyalty and Collective Fan Identities at Liverpool Football Club by Joel Rookwood

5. Challenging the Status Quo of Irish Nationalism: Souther Nationalism, the Gaelic Athletic Association and Rule 42 by Elizabeth Moreland

6. Women, Sport and National Identity in Ireland by Rachael Brooks

7. Consuming the Physical and Cultural Practices of Aboriginal Peoples: Spaces of Exchange, Conflict and (Post)Colonial power Relations by Courtney W. Mason

8. Embodying Difference: Gender, Identity, and Climbing by Rachel Dilley

9. A Man Before Anything: Soccer, Violence, and Competing Masculinities by Sean Morrissey

10. “Sport’s Me Life”: The Role of Sport in Developing Core Gender and Civic Identity in Australian Young Males by Neil Hall

11. Skate Conform or Die: The Conflict of Lifestyle Sports Identity and Public Policy by Daniel Turner

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