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There has been a convergence in the study of football hooliganism in the 1990s between the approaches of Clifford Stott and Steve Reicher, and Anthony King, whose work emphasizes the interactional rather than predispositional element to football violence. Instead of looking only to the dispositional factors within the members of the crowd, which past research has emphasized, both Stott and Reicher and King highlight the way in which violent outcomes are the results of mutual interactions between the crowd and other agencies, such as police. Consequently, crowd violence cannot be read off as the automatic result of premeditated intention but should be seen as a complex and potentially contingent occurrence, where prior dispositions inform interactions but do not determine them.
The author is with the Department of Sociology at the University of Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK.