Causes and Effects
Hooliganism begins as a group of similar people from similar situations coming together to create. This need to create comes from a need to belong. The psychological need to belong drives people to create organizations emphasizing values like commitment and loyalty. Since soccer, known better as football in England, is a competitive, physical sport attracting a young audience who enjoy the game themselves; the members of these groups are generally youthful and aggressive. These groups, or firms as they are called by their members, are similar to gangs because of their emphasis on selective unity and proximity to violence. The members of these firms, like gangs, can join out of a need to belong or as a result of societal pressure.
No other sport has nearly the international following that football does. The divides between followings across cultural borders leads to separations between supporters of different clubs. These cultural divides create friction and spark the necessity for firms of hooligans. Without the divides and separations between clubs, there would be no reason to instigate fights between disagreeing clubs. The diverse and international nature of football lends itself to the formation of firms and beginnings of hooliganism.
Hooligans can come from any culture. The diversity in cultures allows for the creation of the subculture of hooligans. Hooligans generally self-select firms with similar cultural backgrounds, similar to rushing at a modern American fraternity or sorority. Firm participants are generally part of the lower and middle classes. The middle class and upper-middle class participants that get involved in hooliganism are generally the ambitious ones who have strong outside income. These ambitious hooligans tend to become leaders of the firms, actively seeking more power.