An exploration of transnational power figurations between Scandinavian organizers and African teams
This article examines Scandinavian constructions and readings of potential football migrants from the African continent by providing an investigation of the dynamics and narratives surrounding African football teams’ participation in three youth football tournaments. Drawing on Elias and Scotson’s (1965/1994) theory of established-outsider relations, we explore the transnational power relations and processes of inclusion and exclusion in group relationships. The data were collected between July and August 2012, as part of a wider study examining transnational migration and mobility in Scandinavian women’s football. Ethnographic observations were conducted at three Scandinavian youth football tournaments, and interviews were conducted with tournament organizers and representatives from participating women’s clubs/teams. The data suggest that a particular representation of self, on the part of the tournament organizers, as being providers of ‘development’ and gender equity programmes to African teams, is fundamental in maintaining the established-outsider power relations between Scandinavian and African football teams.
Soccer and Society, 2013, Vol 14, Issue 6, p. 781-798