Self-directed racialized humor as in-group marker among migrant players in a professional football team: “Dude, Just Draw the Racist Card!”

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Although racism in football has received considerable attention from researchers in different disciplines, this important issue remains largely overlooked from a discourse analytical perspective. This is particularly surprising since discourse analysis provides some concrete tools and practices to identify racism and racial stereotypes in action – particularly when disguised as humor. This chapter raises questions about the understanding of self-directed racialized humor by migrant players in a professional football team from Germany. Drawing on over 56 hours of audio-recorded interactions among the players in the locker room, on the substitutes’ bench, and on the sideline before, during, and after football matches and trainings, as well as over 80 hours of observations, and interviews with 13 players, I analyze and discuss how within this specific context team members use racialized humor as an in-group marker that talks boundaries into being. In particular, I am interested in the ways in which migrant players mobilize racialized discourses through self-directed humor for the negotiation of interpersonal relations and whether this constitutes racism (or not).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFootball and Discrimination : Antisemitism and Beyond
EditorsPavel Brunssen, Stefanie Schüler-Springorum
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group (GB)
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9780367356590, 978 - 0 -367-75122
ISBN (Electronic)9780429341014
Publication statusPublished - 2021