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Spanish identities in the European press: the case of football writing

Hand, David and Crolley, Elizabeth (2005) Spanish identities in the European press: the case of football writing. International journal of the history of sport, 22 (2). pp. 298-313. ISSN 0952-3367

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Abstract

How does the discourse of European football writing contribute to the representation of Spanish identities? In this essay, recent articles from Spanish and English ‘quality’ newspapers are analysed to identify the principal elements in this representation. The discourse examined reveals recognizable perceptions of Spanishness and demonstrates the relationship between football and society as mediated by the press. This examination of the press demonstrates that many of the themes, characteristics and stereotypes surrounding Spanish identities found in English newspapers (passion, temperament, underachievement) are shared by Spanish writers. However, in the Spanish press more complex, even contradictory representations are portrayed (involving Catholicism, images of the military, contrasting optimism and pessimism and the delicate relationships between Spain’s nations/regions), which illustrate the intricacies of Spanish identity in the new millennium.

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