Association football is now the global sport, consumed in various ways by millions of people across the world. Throughout its history, football has been a catalyst as much for social cohesion, unity, excitement and integration as it can be for division, exclusion and discrimination. A Sociology of Football in a Global Context examines the historical, political, economic, social and cultural complexities of the game across Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America. It analyses the key developments and sociological debates within football through a topic-based approach that concentrates on the history of football and its global diffusion; the role of violence; the global governance of the game by FIFA; race, racism and whiteness; gender and homophobia; the changing nature of fans; the media and football’s financial revolution; the transformation of players into global celebrities; and the growth of football leagues across the world. Using a range of examples from all over the world, each chapter highlights the different social and cultural changes football has seen, most notably since the 1990s, when its relationship with the mass media and other transnational networks became more important and financially lucrative.

chapter |9 pages


chapter |14 pages

Football in Context

Industrialism, Urbanism and Global Diffusion in History

chapter |15 pages

Violence and Aggression

Has Football Always Been Violent?

chapter |18 pages

The Global Game in Transition

FIFA and the Governance of Football

chapter |16 pages


Football Culture in Transition?

chapter |14 pages

Celebrity Football

The Transformation of Players from Local Heroes to Global Superstars

chapter |15 pages

The Global Game

The Development of National Football Leagues across the World