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Scottish Masculinity: Football Fans

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Battle of Culloden: The last stand for the Jacobite rebels
  3. The myth of the heroic Highlander: Disarmed and oppressed
  4. This sense of loss and the resultant mythification of the Highlanders
  5. The progress of both the fine and the 'lucrative arts'
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works consulted

?Before the Forty-five, ?every man was a soldier, who partook of national confidence, and interested himself in national honour. To lose this spirit, is to lose what no small advantage will compensate'? (qtd. in Herman 153). This comment from Samuel Johnson sums up a worry that had begun to weigh on Scottish minds that with the final defeat and disarming of the Highland clans, something of the martial spirit that was seen as central to the Scottish (male) identity had been irretrievably lost. It was not quite as simple and romantic as this, but it was true that society was moving in a new direction in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially economically with industrialization, and traditional forms of masculinity?i.e. the stereotype of the ?hard man'?needed to be renegotiated. Adam Smith addressed this problem in terms prescient of the problem of ?alienation of labor? later defined by Karl Marx. Among the early remedies that were suggested was the formation of citizen militias, but it soon became apparent that masculine energies and violence were to be channeled in a different form?though still retaining the idea of the ?hard man'?that of sport, especially football.

[...] From the 1870s and 1880s, football had assumed the role as the most popular mass spectator sport. The first Scottish club was founded in 1867 and the Scottish Football Association was established in 1873. was a game born out of the industrial communities of central Scotland it offered a few hours of escapist release? (Devine 361). With watching becoming just as important as playing, it quickly developed into an industry itself, in fact, with large stadiums, professional players and fan paraphernalia. [...]


[...] However, this did not necessarily mean Scotland had eschewed all its traditions and cultural heritage; in fact, the more anglicized they became, the more they clung to romantic nostalgic ideas of the Scottish past. heroic past, great men, glory this is the social capital upon which one bases a national idea. To have common glories in the past and to have a common will in the present; to have performed great deeds together, to wish to perform still more? (qtd. [...]


[...] The old battle of Culloden was being reenacted on the football pitch, working out ancient but also lasting hostilities between the ?two' countries.[2] The field not only served to play out international conflicts, but also tensions in other areas as well, as evidenced, for example, by the split between Protestant Scottish and Catholic immigrant Irish teams like Dundee Harp, Edinburgh Hibernians, and Glasgow Celtic. teams that emerged by their very nature reflected religious, community and ethnic differences within the population, and the rivalries built on these divisions and tensions helped increase interest and attendances even further. [...]

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