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'An outsider in our midst': narratives of Neil Lennon, soccer and ethno-religious igotry in the Scottish press

Citation
Reid IA (2008) 'An outsider in our midst': narratives of Neil Lennon, soccer and ethno-religious igotry in the Scottish press, Soccer and Society, 9 (1), pp. 64-80.

Abstract
This essay offers a critique of media narratives concerning soccer and those of 'difference' in contemporary Scotland, in particular those who have Irishness as their different identity. It examines certain newspaper narratives concerning Neil Lennon of Celtic FC during autumn 2005. During this period Lennon was characterized as a soccer villain. The commentaries drew on existing perceptions concerning his personality and style of play. More importantly Lennon's national identity (Irish) and his religious background (Catholic) were integrated into the narratives, marking him as an outsider in Scotland. These narratives resonate with public and private discourses of 'otherness' concerning the Irish Catholic diaspora community in Scotland. These broader discourses are manifest as ethno-religious prejudices directed against this community. The discourses of 'outsider' and 'otherness' that surround Lennon, Celtic FC and the Irish Catholic community expose the myth of Scotland's collective self-image as an egalitarian and inclusive society.

Keywords
Football; Sport in Society

Subject headings
Lennon, Neil; Soccer players Scotland Glasgow; Ethnicity Scotland; Sports Social aspects Scotland

StatusPublished
AuthorsReid Irene A
Publication date2008
Publication date online30/10/2007
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN 1466-0970
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Soccer and Society: Volume 9, Issue 1 (2008)

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