Introduction: understanding the connection between football, identity and (P)politics

Martin J. Power, James Carr, Daniel Parnell, Paul Widdop, Stephen R. Millar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on football and (P)politics presents multidisciplinary scholarship from experienced and established academics together with dynamic, emerging scholars from across the globe. It examines the politics of ‘national’ identity in a post-conflict scenario on a divided island. The book explores the lived realities of sport and identity politics in a divided society for Protestant/unionist/loyalist players that have represented Northern Ireland in youth/adult football. It argues that national team football plays a contrasting ideological and identity role for unionists in Northern Ireland, with the flag and anthem being identified as critical markers of a tendential unionism in the game. The book focuses on the political contexts and history of four countries and how football has been used to construct/reflect ideological identity in those countries through specific actions, symbols of remembrance, colonial and postcolonial aspirations and class populism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFootball, politics and identity
EditorsJames Carr, Daniel Parnell, Paul Widdop, Martin J. Power, Stephen R. Millar
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781003002628
ISBN (Print)9780367433550
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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