Football ‘fanzines’ and football culture: a case of successful ‘cultural contestation’

David Jary*, John Horne, Tom Bucke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


‘Fanzines’– magazines produced by fans for fans on photocopiers or small presses and circulated by other means than through mainstream commercial channels – provide an alternative to the products of mass publishing and the mass entertainment industry, although often in ‘dialogue’ with these. In England fanzines – like Sniffin’ Glue or When Saturday Comes– have proliferated over the last fifteen years or so, dealing especially with rock and pop music and also, most recently, with football. Fanzines can be seen as enabling a ‘users’ view’ and ‐sometimes – a radical reinterpretation (or defence) of popular cultural forms to be expressed by people who would otherwise be excluded from any usual means of written expression about, or control over, mainstream institutions in the production of mass culture. This article focuses on the phenomenon of football fanzines (and the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) – a movement closely associated with fanzines), suggesting (i) that football fanzines and the FSA can be viewed as a particularly potent example of the existence of continued ‘contestation’ over cultural institutions of the kind suggested in relation to sport by Gruneau (1982 and 1983), Donnelly (1988) and others, including ourselves (Jary and Horne 1987 and Horne, Jary and Tomlinson 1987), (ii) that a consideration of football fanzines and the FSA illustrates the value of moving to a wider substantive and theoretical focus in the sociological analysis of football culture than that which has been uppermost in recent years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-597
Number of pages17
JournalThe Sociological Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Aug
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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