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    Safety and Security Battles: Unpacking the Players and Arenas of the Safe Standing Movement in English Football (1989–2022)

    Turner, Mark ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8029-1703 and Lee Ludvigsen, Jan Andre (2023) Safety and Security Battles: Unpacking the Players and Arenas of the Safe Standing Movement in English Football (1989–2022). Sociological Research Online. ISSN 1360-7804

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    Abstract

    This article advances recent debates on social movement (relational) fields, outcomes, and successes by suggesting that the analysis of such fields as a whole must be temporal. The relational interpersonal and intersubjective choices made by interdependent actors in social life take place in fields of interaction, but these interactions and their networks of social relations have a history. Hence, the social movement field is characterised by multiple temporal periods through which the actions of activists both shape and are shaped by the long-term socio-political environments in which they are embedded. To develop this analysis, we identify a football supporter-movement in England, ‘Safe Standing’, revealing the complex interplay of cultural and technological patterns of interaction across the compelling timeframes and orientations of a 30-year movement field. Adopting a theoretical framework which synthesises research on the strategic interactions of movement ‘players’ and ‘arenas’, and sport-focused security fields, we identify a series of compound and sub-players across the political, symbolic, mediatised, technological, and legislative arenas which constitute the security field of contention, in what is an under-researched lifeworld in sociology.

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