Digital Football Network

We are pleased to share information on behalf of The Digital Football Network. This a new network developed by Stefan Lawrence and can be found on Twitter @DigiFootballNet We think this is a great addition and should help develop ideas, collaborations and research in this area. Please check them out on Twitter and support.

Here is a link to Stefan’s post introducing The Digital Football Network.

by Stefan Lawrence, Newman University

As the digital revolution continues apace, emergent technologies and means of communication have presented new challenges and opportunities to the football (or soccer) industry, at all levels. In turn, researchers active across the social sciences and beyond have responded and are beginning to carve out a new field of study – digital football studies. However, despite the growing number of research and theoretical papers that consider football and its relationship with digital culture, until the creation of the Digital Football Network, there were few ongoing academic spaces that brought together critical thinkers, concerned primarily with the effects of digitization on the football industry. To this end, the Digital Football Network has been created to promote a critical approach to the study of digital football cultures. The network will act as the fulcrum for scholars of digital football studies to share research, knowledge and opinion on all matters related to scholarship of the digitization of football.

Developing new theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of digital football cultures is also a key objective of the network, given there is a lack of football-specific literature detailing what such approaches might look like. In an era of declining television viewing figures and newspaper sales, digital media has become the main source of information, community, and connection for a millennial generation. After all, late modern societies are ones that shape and are shaped by a generation used to consuming and connecting differently to those that came before; consuming in chunks, and quickly shifting between communities, identities and foci. Football, therefore, must now try to engage with an increasingly digitally literate, fluid and dynamic audience and workforce who interact constantly with user-friendly, digital interfaces and operating systems. The ‘digital turn’ has transformed contemporary football cultures to such an extent it is vital football studies, more broadly, moves to recognise this and to begin to develop ‘new’ approaches to understand better the changes indicative of the current moment. To this end, the remainder of the chapter explores how increasingly digitized relationships are being formed across the game and the ways audiences are playing with and shifting the boundaries and possibilities for football cultures.

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