A Protocol for the Comparative Analysis of Sports Crowd Violence

August 1986 (VOL. 4, NO. 2)

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This paper develops a protocol for the comparative analysis of the violent sports crowds. It argues that the study of fan violence should be theoretically informed and methodologically grounded. It describes the primary and secondary sources that can be used in the study of sport fan violence particularly when the investigator is not present when the violence happens.\r\n\r\nThe paper begins with a review of Neil J. Smelser\\'s model of collective behavior. It argues that the determinants of collective behavior proposed by Smelser are useful for analyzing fan violence.\r\n\r\nIt is suggested that scholars should approach fan violence with a triangulation strategy. Triangulation is developed using primary and secondary sources. The sources include site visits, personal interviews, newspaper stories, photographs, and police documents. Studies from the United States and England are used to illustrate the protocol.