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Oswestry, Hay-on-Wye and Berwick-upon-Tweed: Football fandom, nationalism and national identity across the Celtic borders

Bevan, Robert Graham 2016. Oswestry, Hay-on-Wye and Berwick-upon-Tweed: Football fandom, nationalism and national identity across the Celtic borders. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Little research has been devoted to studying the interconnections between the ambiguous border identities along the so-called ‘Celtic fringe’ in the UK. It is important to explore whether, in the new context of the devolved Welsh and Scottish states, people resident in the border areas of Wales and Scotland will increasingly come to identify with the Welsh or Scottish “nation” and with its official “nationality”. Using the sociological approach advocated by Robert K. Yin, this thesis draws on ethnographical research to explore the precise nature of the relationship between contemporary national identity, nationalism, borderlands and football fandom. It examines supporters in three border towns: Oswestry (Shropshire), Hay-on-Wye (Powys), and Berwick-upon-Tweed (Northumberland). Focus groups were conducted with match-going supporters of Welsh league champions The New Saints of Oswestry Town, Scottish League Two side Berwick Rangers and Hay St. Mary’s Football Club, who compete in both the Herefordshire and Mid Wales leagues. Examining football fans’ expressions of identity, this study discusses national sentiment and explores identity – local, regional and national – in the England-Wales and England-Scotland border regions from a theoretical and comparative perspective. A detailed and grounded study of national identity and nationalism amongst fans in the borderlands of Wales and Scotland will appeal to academics and students of sports history and with interests in ethnography, the sociology of sport, football fandom, debatable borderlands and contemporary national identities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Welsh
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1001 Celtic languages and literature
P Language and Literature > PD Germanic languages
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 1 September 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:22
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/94131

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