Football hooliganism, the death drive and Millwall fandom as symbolic masochism

Bleakley, Paul ORCID: (2018) Football hooliganism, the death drive and Millwall fandom as symbolic masochism. The Journal of Fandom Studies, 6 (3) . pp. 225-241. ISSN 2046-6692 [Article] (doi:10.1386/jfs.6.3.225_1)

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Despite their reputation for violence and hooligan behaviour, south-east London’s Millwall football club has sustained a strong fan base thanks significantly to the siege mentality that has developed around its supporters. This siege mentality is fuelled largely by the antipathy of wider society; by undertaking a Freudian analysis of Millwall fandom as it was during the zenith of the club’s notoriety in the 1970s and 1980s, it is possible to view this collective persecution complex as a manifestation internalized masochism described in the philosopher’s ‘death drive’ theory. Combined with a Lacanian interpretation of the death drive, it is possible to perceive Millwall fandom as a form of symbolic masochism, explaining to some degree the continued support for a team treated in a consistently pejorative manner.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 27880
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Intellect in The Journal of Fandom Studies, the final published version is available at:
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Depositing User: Paul Bleakley
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 14:33
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2019 17:20

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