Mason's (1980) research noted how the public house has been an integral part of the ‘football experience’ in England for more than a century. Drinking alcohol has been positioned both as central to the experiences of those watching the game in their leisure time and as an important activity for professional footballers to relax and bond with their fellow players. In England the consumption of alcohol is also central to the leisure lifestyles of many students, and although organised sport is often promoted as a ‘healthy’ alternative to alcohol consumption in reality the two are implicitly linked. This paper critically examines the ‘locatedness’ of alcohol consumption in the construction of samesex friendships of male football players at a university in the south of England. It posits that the student bar provides a ‘safe’ environment for homosociability and a pretext for a postulated community of footballing men where the imperatives of male hegemony can be realised and defended away from the interference of an itinerant society.
- social identities