The Great Transformation of the English Game: Karl Polanyi and the Double Movement 'Against Modern Football'

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In this chapter, David Webber develops the work of Karl Polanyi to offer a unique and important analysis of the ‘great transformation’ of English football. Taking Polanyi’s conceptualisation of the ‘double movement’, the chapter proceeds to show how a neoliberal ‘market mentality’ embedded within the British economy, was subsequently socialised by the English game’s governing bodies and its leading clubs in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster. As this chrematistic mentality has taken hold, fans have – as Polanyi predicted – reacted against this marketization, seeking ways of reclaiming the cultural value of the game. In the final part, Webber explores the prospects of this movement ‘against modern football’ suggesting ways in which Polanyi’s work might provide the intellectual rationale for a more socially-embedded sport.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFootball and Supporter Activism in Europe
    Subtitle of host publicationWhose Game Is It?
    EditorsBorja Garcia, Jinming Zheng
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-48734-2
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-48733-5
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2017

    Publication series

    NameFootball Research in an Enlarged Europe (FREE)
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan

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