"Blood and Piss, the Great British Cocktail." A Literary and Sociological Exploration of Football Hooliganism in the 1980s in John King's Novel The Football Factory and Bill Buford's Investigative Journalism in Among the Thugs
|Institution:||University of Iceland|
|Keywords:||Enska; The football factory (skáldsaga); Among the thugs (skáldsaga); Samanburðarbókmenntir; Bókmenntagreining|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20369|
This essay’s main purpose is to view in detail the portrayal of football hooligans in John King’s novel, The Football Factory, and to compare its characters with Bill Buford’s descriptions of football hooligans in his book Among the Thugs, which he wrote on his travels as he accompanied groups of football supporters for a period of eight years in the 1980s. The essay will offer information on the rise of football hooliganism in the 1960s, its peak in the 1980s and the government’s attempts at intervention, leading to its decline. The essay explores the similarities and differences of the fictionalized violence in John King’s novel and the factual violence in Bill Buford’s account, and their shared themes of confrontations with law enforcement, search for a sense of identity, and the importance of the role of the media in the world of football hooliganism. It also explores several aspects that seem to coalesce in the football hooligans’ lifestyle, such as excessive alcohol consumption leading to physical violence, racism, misogyny and general lawlessness. The essay’s ultimate goal is to determine whether John King’s characters are a realistic and convincing representation of English football hooligans of the 1980s.