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France and the English other: the mediation of national identities in Post-War football journalism

Crolley, Elizabeth and Hand, David (2001) France and the English other: the mediation of national identities in Post-War football journalism. ISSN 1460-6550

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Abstract

This study compares and contrasts the evolution of both the form and content of print media coverage of football in France and England during the post-war period. Firstly, the extent to which football has been reported in the ‘quality’ daily press is analysed. How have the rôle of commentaries on football and writing styles evolved in the French and English newspapers studied? Secondly, ways in which notions of identity have been mediated via football writing since the 1940s is also explored with a view to identifying the principal elements in the construction and evolution of French and English national identities in this section of the media. How has the mediation by football journalism of the problematic Anglo-French relationship evolved since the War? The investigation focuses upon both autotypification (French and English self-definition) and heterotypification (how the French typically view England and how the English view France). The paper presents the initial findings of a larger study into the analysis of historical sports media text representations of football identities in Europe and provides some insight into the complexity and fluidity of the concept of national identity as communicated via football writing.

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