A New England? Cricket, the Ashes and National Identity

A New England? Cricket, the Ashes and National Identity

Room G01 – Clore Management Centre,
Birkbeck College,
Torrington Square,
London WC1 7HX

Wednesday 8th February at 6pm

Given by:

Dominic Malcolm, Lecturer in Sociology, Loughborough University

This lecture focuses upon England ‘s Ashes victory of 2005 to probe issues of national identity. The social impact of this sports event and the widespread celebration of this national sporting victory, it is argued, can only be understood in the light of the growing interest in, and expression of, Englishness which has been evident in the last 10 to 15 years. It is argued that cricket supporters have forged a specific and peculiar form of national identity and pride, which resonates with, and appears to be structured by, the themes of the broader cultural debate over Englishness. Consequently the form of national identity exhibited and celebrated by English cricket fans can be usefully counter-posed against more exclusive and retrospective forms of Englishness, such as those which have traditionally characterised cricket, and those borne out of a profound sense of insecurity and loss that have been mobilized in recent years (e.g. in relation to foxhunting).

Dr Dominic Malcolm is a lecturer in the sociology of sport in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Loughborough University . Dominic has published on a wide range of subjects within the sociology of sport, including sports spectator demographics and subcultures, the commercialization of cricket, football and rugby union, and race and sport. Most recently his work has focused on the management and social construction of pain and injury in rugby union and the role of violence, imperial relations and national identity in the development of cricket. He has published three edited books – The Future of Football (with J. Garland and M. Rowe), Sport: Critical Concepts in Sociology (with E. Dunning), and Sport Histories (with E. Dunning and I. Waddington). A further edited book, Matters of Sport: Essays in Honour of Eric Dunning (with I. Waddington) is due to be published by Routledge in 2006. He is currently working on the Sage Dictionary of Sports Studies (due to be published in 2007).


  • Parry, M. and Malcolm, D. (2004). ” England ‘s Barmy Army: Commercialization, Masculinity and Nationalism”, International Review for the Sociology of Sport , 2004 39(1), 73-92.
  • Carrington, B. (1998). “Football’s coming home, but whose home? And do we want it?: Nation, football and the politics of exclusion”, in A. Brown (ed.) Fanatics! Power, Identity and Fandom in Football . London : Routledge,

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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