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«Rich A. Wallace Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the ...»

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Modern English Football Hooliganism:

A Quantitative Exploration in Criminological Theory

Rich A. Wallace

Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

in

Sociology

Carol A. Bailey, Co-Chair

William E. Snizek, Co-Chair

Clifton D. Bryant

Charles J. Dudley

Donald J. Shoemaker

December 10, 1998

Blacksburg, Virginia

Keywords: Football Hooliganism, Criminology, Theory, Subcultural Delinquency Copyright 1998, Rich A. Wallace

Modern English Football Hooliganism:

A Quantitative Exploration in Criminological Theory Rich A. Wallace (ABSTRACT) Studies of football hooliganism have developed in a number of academic disciplines, yet little of this literature directly relates to criminology. The fighting, disorderly conduct, and destructive behavior of those who attend football matches, especially in Europe has blossomed over the past thirty years and deserves criminological attention. Football hooliganism is criminal activity, but is unique because of its context specific nature, occurring almost entirely inside the grounds or in proximity to the stadiums where the matches are played.

This project explores the need for criminological explanations of football hooligans and their behavior based on literature which indicates that subcultural theories may be valuable in understanding why this behavioral pattern has become a preserve for young, white, working-class males. This study employs Albert Cohen’s (1955) theory of subcultural delinquency to predict the hooligan activities of young, white, working-class males. West and Farrington’s longitudinal study, the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development provides a wealth of data on numerous topics, including hooliganism, and is used to explore the link between hooliganism and criminological theory. The running hypothesis, grounded in Cohen’s theory of subcultural delinquency, is that the less middle-class the youths are in their values the more likely they will be to engage in football hooliganism.

Cohen initially identified a locus of nine middle-class values: ambition, individual responsibility, achievement and performance, delayed gratification, rationality and planning, etiquette and the cultivation of social skills, self-control, wholesome leisure, and respect for property. These middle-class values have been modified into a shorter set of values; constructive leisure, acceptable conduct, self-reliance, and success, that are more mutually exclusive and easier to test empirically. Scales were constructed for each dimension of the modified version of Cohen’s middle-class values using factor analysis with orthogonal rotation. Each scale then underwent reliability analysis using Chronbach’s alpha. From there the scales for the middle-class values, the dependent variable of football hooliganism, and controls were tested using both bivariate and multivariate procedures. Results indicate that these modified middle-class values may be an important explanatory factor for football hooliganism.

DEDICATION This dissertation is dedicated to those who have made me realize that nature is full of splendor and that life provides limitless opportunities for those who seek them.

–  –  –

I would like to begin by thanking the members of my committee, Dr. Carol Bailey, Dr. Cliff Bryant, Dr. Jack Dudley, Dr. Don Shoemaker, and Dr. Bill Snizek, who stuck by me patiently as the project came to fruition. Each of you has provided unique contributions to my development and career aspirations. The chairs of my committee deserve special recognition. Dr. Carol Bailey, for helping and encouraging me throughout the development of the dissertation and listening to all my concerns, no matter how deluded the may have seemed. Dr. Bill Snizek, for taking me on as a teaching assistant and for educating me with respect to professionalism and the importance of teaching.

I would also like to express my appreciation to the Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech for providing me with the freedom to fully explore my interests in criminology and criminal justice. A further word of thanks for the financial support that was provided which helped make all of this possible.

Thanks to those colleagues who have been so supportive and encouraging over the past 5 years, especially my co-conspirator D. Alexander and my kindred spirit L. Linares.

I must also thank the members of NADS who always made life enjoyable, helped me stay the course, and made me realize that support comes from many unexpected places. The Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls needs to be recognized for asking me to join them professionally and standing by me throughout the process.

None of these thank you’s would be possible or necessary without the eternal love, support, guidance, and nurturing of my wonderful wife. Steph, I can’t begin to tell you how much richer my life is for what we have and what we share. “You’ll never walk alone” (LFC).

–  –  –

TABLE 2 - Independent Samples T-Tests: Mean Differences for Football Hooligans and Non-Hooligans on Middle-Class Values............ 121 TABLE 3 - Independent Samples T-Tests: Mean Differences for Football Hooligans and Non-Hooligans on Gang Activities and Controls..... 123

–  –  –





A gang of young men (possibly neo-Nazis) attacks a police officer and beats him about the head with iron bars and repeatedly kicks him. The officer remains in a coma and doctors believe he has suffered at least some permanent brain damage. Based on reports, pictures, and video footage, three people have been arrested in connection with the crime.

(SportsLine Worldwide wire reports 9 July 1998) An individual taking a long train ride stabs the other man in his compartment to death with a knife. Later the individual is arrested upon fighting with the night watchman of the hotel he is staying at and eventually confesses to the murder. (Reuters 4 July 1998) Over a three hour period a group of approximately 150 people rampaged through a port town. This mob went through the town "hurling paving stones, bottles and traffic signs, smashing shop and cafe windows and damaging two police cars" (2). Order was restored by police, with the aid of police dogs and water cannons. (Daily Mail 26 June 1998) One of the public's first questions about incidents such as these center on a desire to know why the events occurred. Questions like "why did the young men decide to attack a police officer," "why did they take it so far," "why did the train passenger stab the other person in his compartment," "why did the crowd riot," and "why did the crowd focus their 1 attention on destroying property" are frequent and understandable. These inquiries are a struggle to gain an understanding of offender motivation, it is an attempt to find a reason or cause for such criminal behavior.

The public are not the only ones to have such an interest in the motives people have for committing criminal acts, criminologists and criminal justice practitioners also have an intense desire to understand such matters. For these groups trying to understand and explain "why" is often a key aspect of their jobs and research. For these professions the search for the "why" of criminal events focuses upon the etiology of criminal behavior, which attempts to find, describe, and predict the causes of such activities.

Criminologists often argue that the motivation for criminal acts can be understood and explained through the use of a relatively simple dichotomy. This dichotomy of motives identifies crimes as being committed for instrumental or expressive reasons (Glaser 1974; Block 1977; Riedel 1987; Decker 1996; Miethe and McCorkle 1998).

Often the criminologists using this dichotomy of motives maintains that they are, at least relatively, mutually exclusive categories -- crimes are committed for either instrumental or expressive reasons.

Instrumental crimes are offenses committed for primarily rational reasons. The basic consideration is that the criminal act is committed in order to bring about specific goals or to fulfill certain needs (Glaser 1974; Riedel 1987; Miethe and McCorkle 1998).

A list of possible instrumental motives is supplied by Miethe and McCorkle (1998), who maintain that "money, revenge, status enhancement, control, and domination are often considered instrumental goals of crime" (p. 13). In order to achieve such goals the offender has usually tried to rationally calculate how to maximize benefits while minimizing costs, meaning that instrumental crimes "are a means of obtaining satisfaction from the products of crime rather than from the criminal acts themselves" (Glaser 1974:75). It is quite possible that certain crimes of violence may be committed for instrumental reasons, but the perception is that instrumental motives are most likely to be employed for property offenses, such as; burglary, motor vehicle theft, and shoplifting, 2 since they provide the offender with financial gain (Chambliss 1969; Glaser 1974; Decker 1996).

Violent offenses are more likely to be perceived as expressive crimes that are committed without the consideration of costs and benefits, especially financial gains. The expressive motives for crime are best exemplified in research and discussions on assaults and homicides, but can also be aptly implemented for all forms of criminality, even crimes like burglary (Block 1977; Tunnell 1992; Decker 1996). Expressive criminal acts are committed as a result of emotions felt by the offender, meaning that the acts are likely to be spontaneous or impulsive (Glaser 1974; Block 1977; Miethe and McCorkle 1998).

According to Decker (1996), "it is the expression of a strongly held emotion that most often characterizes expressive motives" (p. 431). The expressed emotions that are likely to precipitate expressive crimes include anger, fear, revenge, aggression, and hatred. A further demarcation for expressive crimes is a list of research which finds that expressive crimes are more likely to involve non-strangers than are instrumental crimes (Decker 1996:430).

A key aspect to understanding how instrumental and expressive criminal acts differ is in the ability to control or deter them. The argument is made time and again that instrumental crimes are more likely to be deterred than expressive crimes because of the rational thought attributed to the instrumental acts (Chambliss 1969; Glaser 1974; Miethe and McCorkle 1998). Violent crimes, especially criminal homicide, tend to reflect the expressive nature of the offense as people go about committing such offenses without regard for the punishments that may await them. Instrumental offenses, on the other hand, are defined by the fact that the offender is taking real and perceived benefits and costs into account, including possible punishments (Chambliss 1969).1 Expressive and instrumental motives are not only applied to what criminologists would classically identify as street crime, but also are employed in the explanation of 1 In his study of burglars, Tunnell (1992) found that people don't accurately take all possible costs and benefits into account. He saw that a large proportion failed to take possible punishment into account, and when they did they underestimated its possible severity. He and others contend that we work from a point of limited rationality, but rationality none the less.

3 motives for corporate crime, occupational crime, organized crime, public order offenses, and even political crimes. Some of the offenses in each of these categories appear to have relatively simple, straight-forward motives based on anger, revenge, personal benefit, or financial gain; however, for many crimes the motives are more complicated and are difficult to pin down accurately.

Trying to determine which motive, expressive or instrumental, is at the root of any criminal behavior may be an inaccurate proposition since there are criminal acts where both motives may be working simultaneously. This complication may be best exemplified by the crimes juveniles and young adults commit in an attempt to further develop their self-concepts and gain separation and independence in the adult world (Glaser 1974). The striving undertaken by these young people through crime exhibit both instrumental and expressive motivations. As Glaser (1974:76) argues, these expressive aspects cannot wisely be overlooked; even in offenses that appear to be instrumental activity pursued in an unemotional way, money or property may motivate behavior not just as a means of getting something else, but as symbols of accomplishment competing with alternative influences on selfconception.

So in certain cases, for certain individuals and groups, it is quite possible that both expressive and instrumental motives are being expressed in criminal activities, regardless of the type of crime that is being committed. This proposition is supported by Miethe and McCorkle (1998) who admit that criminal motivations can be difficult to prove because they may have numerous and diverse sources.

The incidents described at the beginning of this section are criminal offenses which are incapable of being explained as simply being instrumentally or expressively motivated. All three events have similar motivations, even though the first two are crimes of violence and the third involves property-related criminality. Yet the significance of these events goes beyond the category of crime that they represent because all three are 4 acts of football hooliganism.2 Such activities are of great international importance both socially and academically; moreover, it is a class of criminal activity that defies simple categorization.



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