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Malign and covert nationalism within British newspapers reporting of Eddies Jones’ appointment as head coach of the men’s England national rugby union team

BLACKETT, Alexander (2021) Malign and covert nationalism within British newspapers reporting of Eddies Jones’ appointment as head coach of the men’s England national rugby union team. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. ISSN 1461-7218

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Abstract or description

The appointment of Eddie Jones as the England men’s rugby union head coach in 2015 was significant because he was the first foreign-born individual to occupy this role. After sourcing 136 British newspaper articles published one week either side of Jones’ official announcement for his appointment on 20th November 2015, this study identified three overarching themes for how narratives of this event were framed: 1) negativity and the loss of national identity; 2) positivity and need for cultural change underscored with conditional acceptance; and 3) declinism with the need for succession planning. Bourdieu’s concepts of field, habitus, embodied cultural and symbolic capital were drawn upon to theorise how much of the media initially rejected Jones’ appointment. The results indicated an overt and xenophobic ‘Little Englander’ narrative was first presented by some journalists based on Jones’ perceived Australian habitus and capital not reflecting the cultural values attached to English rugby union. Even when reports were positive, binary ‘one of our own/us’ and ‘outsider/them’ narratives represented symbolic violence through a malign ‘Little Englander’ attitude, albeit one that is a more covert form of discrimination than has previously been reported. Recommendations for continued analyses that acknowledge temporality within this discipline are finally presented.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Sage Journals in International Review for the Sociology of Sport, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/10126902211037842
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Alexander BLACKETT
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2021 15:06
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 15:06
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6997

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