Negotiating sectarian imagery: race and nationalism in Glasgow Celtic fandom

Ogasawara, Hiroki. 2003. Negotiating sectarian imagery: race and nationalism in Glasgow Celtic fandom. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This is a study of the history and culture of Celtic Football Club and its imagery. It examines particularly the negotiation of Celtic fandom with its stereotyped sectarian representations of races and nations. My aim is to reconceptualise the way sectarianism in football is understood and then to develop an understanding of the tension between continuity and change in Celtic fandom as a particular cultural community. For this purpose, I rely for research resources on archival sources of biographies, fanzines and newspapers, and ethnographic interviews with the fans and participant observation. The observation through those materials is combined with theorisation of the cultural mechanism through which sectarianism is articulated or dis-articulated with the football rivalry with Rangers. This mechanism is elaborated in two halves. The first half explores the ways in which the fans' emotional investment constitutes the fandom as an affective community. The fandom is conceived by the dialectic relationship between affective agency and the social and cultural space of the affective investment. This relationality is understood from the angle of performativity of the incorporating collective rituals rather than from the foundational point of view. The second half is concerned with races and nations at the intersecting point of football fandom and sectarianism. My approach sees racialisation not as a unitary, simple differentiation but as a process of the complex inter-play between racism, sectarianism and club belonging. In conclusion, the thesis seeks to evaluate the way that the cosmopolitan style and meaning of belonging emerges in football public spheres even in a deeply localised environment.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Celtic Football Club, sectarianism, performativity

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



January 2003

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2023 10:45

Last Modified:

08 Aug 2023 14:08


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