New member introduction: Danny Hannun

Football Collective Members,

My name is Danny Hannun, and it’s an honor to join your ranks. I have recently relocated to Manchester and had the great privilege of meeting members of the collective at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), who introduced me to and extended an invitation to join the Football Collective. Though I have only known Dan Parnell a short while my time with him has been impactful and inspiring, and I would like to thank him for his support and welcoming nature. I look forward to getting better acquainted with the rest of the group and learning from the vast array of experience on offer.

In January I started my PhD on The Nation State & Sport Mega-Events at MMU. My research focuses on the use of Sport Mega-Events by nation states as an instrument of their soft power Strategy. Soft power is the ability to attract and co-opt, rather than coerce through physical means which has been traditionally referred to as hard power. Soft power has been increasingly utilized by nation states in order to appear attractive on the global stage. Nation states use sporting ventures and sport mega-events as a facet of their respective soft power strategy in order to establish or increase international prestige and shape public perceptions. I am particularly interested in the conception and variations of the nation state concept as well as the prevailing minoritzation of populations who are categorized as states without a nation or nations without states. In a sporting context nation states have furthered the commodification of football while concurrently politicizing the game in order to propagate their respective agendas and further their propaganda.

Prior to undertaking my PhD I taught and co-created a sociology course at Portland State University called “Sports in Society” in addition to writing a sociological textbook used in American colleges called “Sports in Society.” Sociologically speaking my primary interest is in the intersectionality of inequality in sport and general society. The essential premise is to show how culture and values influence sport, how sport influences culture and values, and the relationship between sport and the media, politics, economics, religion, race, gender, youth, sexuality and Title IX (a federal civil rights law in the United States of America protecting against sex discrimination in athletics as well as many other aspects of education). I also examine the relationship between sports and social inequality and social mobility, as well as touching on the plantation mentality exhibited unashamedly by sport governing bodies such as the NFL (National Football League) and NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). Having worked with and advocated for the cause of students athletes, the conception of amateurism as conceived by the NCAA has always troubled me a bit.

I look forward to attending my first conference in Sheffield and getting to know the Football Collective community. For anyone interested in connecting or any sort of dialogue please don’t hesitate to contact me at Danny.Ghaleb.Hannun@stu.mmu.ac.uk. I welcome the opportunity to learn from and hear about the work of others.

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