MRes Opportunity: An exploration of football fans’ attitudes towards and responses to social media discrimination

Newman University is launching a brand new MRes and I’m looking forward to working with a highly motivated individual is willing to make the best of this fantastic opportunity! 

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As the digital revolution continues apace, emergent technologies and means of communication have presented new challenges and opportunities to the football industry. In turn, researchers active in a number of disciplines have responded and have carved out a new field of study in its own right: digital football cultures. Despite the growing number of research papers which consider football and its relationship with digital culture, very few have begun to explore the impact of football-related trolling, hate crime and/ or malicious communications sent over social media. Moreover, football fans’ attitudes towards these new forms of social deviance, not to mention the phenomena of football trolling in the first instance, are as yet unexplored. As part of a broader MRes project, this research will seek to address the paucity of literature in this area by centralising the thoughts, feelings and responses of football fans to what is a growing problem. To this end, we might then be better placed not only to understand but to tackle online discrimination.

Kick It Out, football’s premier anti-discrimination organisation, have recently launched a new campaign, entitled Klick It Out, which seeks to raise awareness and challenge the rise in a variety of forms of social media discrimination. The proposed research project will seek to add further value to this campaign. Not only will the successful applicant(s) be given the chance to undertake the research as part of a broader MRes programme, it also offers the opportunity to work directly with Kick it Out and leading experts in the field at Newman University. In this regard, it is expected that the research project will not only contribute to academic knowledge but will be used and presented to the football industry to tackle discrimination in football online.

Deadline for applications: Monday 12th September 2016. The date of the interview will be given to successful applicants soon after the deadline. For an informal conversation about the project please contact Dr Stefan Lawrence who will be happy to discuss: s.t.lawrence@newman.ac.uk.

A more detailed outline of the entire MRes programme and costs, as well as the online application form, can be found here: http://www.newman.ac.uk/higher-degree-courses/4530/mres-social-sciences-sport-and-exercise-science

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