SOCCER CASUALS: A SLIGHT RETURN OF YOUTH CULTURE
AbstractThis essay reports from a long-term research project1 which interviewed participants in a post-war U.K. youth culture called “casuals” about all aspects of its history, especially the styles of music and fashion and its connection to British soccer spectatorship from the late 1970s to the present day. Original interview and ethnographic material from the project is presented and discussed, and situated within a context of the sociology of youth culture in general and soccer fandom in particular. The essay suggests some theoretical and methodological signposts for the future study of youth culture whilst outlining some specific aspects of the research conducted. This new work on youth culture also rethinks earlier work on rave culture and football hooligan subcultures in the light of appreciation and critique of such work in various recent youth subcultural theory debates. The research reported on here mapped the history of the “moments” of the birth of casual in the late 1970s and the coming together of the football hooligan and rave subcultures in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as well as the later remixing, recycling and “mash up” of these moments in a present in which “pop culture” is said by some to be “addicted to its own past” (Reynolds, 2011).
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