The problematic depiction of black British masculinity in ghostwritten Football autobiographies (a critical essay)

Hickson-Lovence, Ashley (2023) The problematic depiction of black British masculinity in ghostwritten Football autobiographies (a critical essay). Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Football is widely recognised as a cultural arena in which the discourses of race and racism are openly at play in Britain. Indeed, the pressures that Black players and referees face in navigating bias and prejudice whilst participating in the sport at which they excel has become highly visible in the contemporary moment. This thesis engages with the representations and realities of Black footballing lives through both creative and critical means. The creative component comprises a novel, Your Show, that offers a fictionalised portrait of Uriah Rennie’s pioneering efforts to make it to the top of his career, and stay there, amidst the intense scrutiny of the British public and media as the first Black referee in the UK Premier League. The critical component interrogates the problematic depiction of Black British masculinity in a selection of ghostwritten football autobiographies. It explores how racialised discourses have shaped the representations of these sporting lives, calling on familiar narrative tropes of an exceptional Black sporting life against the odds to reinforce negative representations of being Black, male and British in the modern context. It examines the limitations of these works, penned by writers with primarily journalistic backgrounds who have never played the game professionally and who have little shared life experience with those whose lives they have been tasked to tell in the first-person. In conversation with a cluster of recent critical studies on Black masculinity and Black sporting lives, my critical work investigates the role and the impact of racialised narratives in diminishing the stories of Black British footballing lives, and the ways in which they ventriloquise dominant, mainly negative, societal views of Black masculinity in British society.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2023 14:02
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 14:20


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