Exploring the digitalization of football violence: Ultras, disembodiment, and the Internet

Magdalini Pipini

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


    This chapter works at the nexus of criminology, football studies, and digital cultural studies, and seek to move beyond “old” understandings of football violence as a “problem” of the past and explores how the Internet allows groups of football fans, known as ultras, to interact internationally. The chapter first appraises existing literature on football violence and online football violence, to offer a conceptual framework that explores and explains the digitalization of football violence and its role in ultras’ culture. More specifically, in exploring this it develops the notion of “(dis)embodied football violence”, which captures how some, what are called, “cyber-ultras” act behind pseudonyms and/or a football club’s avatar to attack others through text or action. It argues that violence done online necessitates violence off it, which, in turn, allows us to consider former theoretical frameworks used to explain the related but separate literature on “hooliganism” as dated. Its key contribution is to point to a growing need to explore further the contemporary phenomenon of football violence as transnational and digitalized.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDigital Football Cultures
    Subtitle of host publicationFandom, Identities and Resistance
    EditorsS. Lawrence, G. Crawford
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)9781351118903
    ISBN (Print)9780367519803
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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