Lancaster University

This is archived news from Lancaster University. You can find up-to-date stories in our current news section.

Scottish football fans more patriotic than English

07/01/2010 13:07:47

Scots are more likely than the English to see supporting their national football team as a patriotic duty.

This is one of the findings of a study by Dr Jackie Abell from Lancaster University published online this week, Monday 21st June 2010, in the British Psychological Society’s Journal of Social Psychology.

The study set out to understand the differences between how the Scottish and the English demonstrate their nationalism via support for the national football team.

Participants were selected from two sites in England and Scotland based on their conflicting character; Glasgow and rural Perthshire in Scotland; Greater Manchester and rural East Sussex in England.

Interviews were conducted with those born and currently resident in England (100) and Scotland (60). All participants were white aged between 16-89 and from a variety of backgrounds.

The results showed that nearly twice as many Scottish born participants considered supporting the national team as part of national identity than those born in England.

Jackie explained: ‘For Scots supporting the national football team is seen as an expression of national pride. So they see support for the England football team in the same terms, expressing English patriotism. Combine this with the negative stereotype of xenophobic and hooliganEngland supporters and you can see why this can increase Scottish support for their team and anti-English sentiments.

But support for England is misunderstood. Public displays of England flags and paraphernalia often reflect support only for the England football team at the time of an international tournament.’

The journal is available free via this link;jsessionid=5683hforl2s8.alice