Mediated football: representations and audience receptions of race/ethnicity, gender and nation

Jacco van Sterkenburg*, R Spaaij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Mediated football is one of the most popular global cultural practices. Within this cultural practice, meanings given to race/ethnicity, gender and nation are naturalized often in an implicit and unacknowledged manner. In this article, we build on existing literature to critically examine the often implicit discourses surrounding race/ethnicity, gender and nation in mediated football and to interrogate how these discourses are embedded in wider relations of power. We focus not only on football media content and representations but also on audience receptions and negotiations of media content. We argue that while football in the media provides a shared topical resource for many people worldwide, the ways in which football is received and used by active media audiences have attracted insufficient academic attention. This article challenges this neglect and, in so doing, constitutes the starting point for the rich, cross-cultural and multidisciplinary mixture of articles that feature in this special issue. We conclude that a focus on the dynamic interplay between media representations and audience receptions across different cultural contexts and social dimensions can advance contemporary academic and societal debate on the role of mediated football in shaping social relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-603
Number of pages11
JournalSoccer & Society
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2014

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