Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This project examines the ways in which the global mobility of players has unsettled the traditional nationalistic structure of football and the anxious responses by specific football institutions as they struggle to protect their respective political and economic hegemonies over the game. My intention is to expose the recent institutional exploitation of football's "cultural power" (Stoddart, Cultural Imperialism 650) and ability to impassion and mobilize the masses in order to maintain traditional concepts of authority and identity. The first chapter of this project will interrogate the exclusionary selection practices of both the Mexican and the English Football Associations. Both institutions promote ethnoracially singular understandings of national identity as a means of escaping disparaging accusations of "artificiality," thereby protecting the purity and prestige of the nation, as well as the profitability of the national brand. The next chapter will then turn its attention to FIFA's proposed 6+5 policy, arguing that the rule is an institutional effort by FIF A to constrain and control the traditional structure of football in order to preserve the profitability of its highly "mediated and commodified spectacle" (Sugden and Tomlinson, Contest 231) as well as assert its authority and autonomy in the global realm. The third chapter will assess the English Premier League's home-grown policy - an apparent legislative imitation of the FIF A 6+5 initiative. I will argue that the home-grown policy is a strategic measure intent on reproducing a "white, male English" identity (King 170) as a means of strengthening the "English" presence within both the league and the national squad.
Pool, Eric, "The Ball is Flat: A Study of Institutional Racism in Football" (2010). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4296.
McMaster University Library