In an investigation of policing and football culture, Megan O'Neill draws on the sociology of Erving Goffman to guide the analysis. Since the late 1960s, sociological studies of policing and of football culture and football hooliganism have been increasing steadily. Few authors have considered how these areas overlap, namely, how football matches and hooligans are policed. This book is the first detailed study of police officers and stewards at football matches and their relationships with supporters. Far from being a united force, this book reveals that the police actually work as several independent groups. The police are key to the football match day experience, through their varied interaction styles with football supporters and hooligans, and are not neutral bystanders as they have been portrayed. Only through this detailed ethnography can such relationships be revealed, making this book a key resource for studies in policing, deviance and social control.

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