Organizing for a Peaceful Crowd: An Example of a Football Match

  • Ingrid Hylander Karolinska Institutet
  • Kjell Granström Linköping University
Keywords: mass event, social psychology, large groups, riots, grounded theory, football, Aggravation and Mitigation (AM) model


Crowd violence has interested researchers in social psychology for many years and is an important issue for sports psychology (STOTT, ADANG, LIVINGSTONE & SCHREIBER, 2007; STOTT, HUTCHINSON & DRURY, 2001; RUSSELL, 2004; MUSTONEN, ARMS & RUSSELL, 1996). Riots in crowds have been explained from different theoretical perspectives (HYLANDER, 2008), such as individual differences, de-individuation (PRENTICE-DUNN & ROGERS, 1989), group interaction (DRURY & REICHER, 2000), history (GUTTMAN, 1986, 1998) and cultural perspectives (CRABBE, 2003). In this study, a social psychology model focusing on group interaction, the Aggravation and Mitigation (AM) model (GUVÅ & HYLANDER, 2008; GRANSTRÖM, 2008; GRANSTRÖM & ROSANDER, 2008), is used as a means of analysis. This article applies the AM model to a sporting event to identify if and how peacemaking processes can be detected. Furthermore, the intention is to discern and illuminate organizational strategies that maybe linked to peacemaking processes. The main results indicate that when arrangements are based on (a) "festival-making," (b) arrangements for basic needs and recognizable order and (c) the creation of a superordinate identity, then the outcome of mass events may turn out peaceful, which is also in line with the AM model. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs100283


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Author Biographies

Ingrid Hylander, Karolinska Institutet
Ingrid HYLANDER is Associate Professor in Educational Psychology at Linköping University, Senior Researcher at Karolinska Institutet, and licensed psychologist. Her research interest is in group psychology, team work, and professional consultation and collaboration.
Kjell Granström, Linköping University
Kjell GRANSTRÖM, Professor Emeritus in Educational Psychology, is a reader in communication and licensed psychologist. His main research interests concern communication and dynamics within and between groups, such as school classes, staff teams, football supporters, and groups in demonstrations.
How to Cite
Hylander, I., & Granström, K. (2010). Organizing for a Peaceful Crowd: An Example of a Football Match. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(2).