Why do people become hooligans?

In general, hooliganism has been associated with a number of psychological, social, and economic factors, which themselves are often intertwined, meaning there is not one specific root-cause of football violence.

One of the popular explanations for why people become hooligans is an appetite for violence or power. Football violence is thought to be an expression of individuals’ need to dominate others, stand out and prove personal power, which can contribute to their self-esteem. Note, however, that many supporters who engage in hooliganism do not necessarily associate football with violence, but are simply willing to turn their aggression towards rival supporters or the police into physical confrontation, or accept it when they feel provoked.

From another point of view, individuals’ involvement in football violence is thought to help reinforce their sense of identity and belonging, as they are accepted in a group and share activities and preoccupations with the other members. Furthermore, these groups can provide a strong sense of belonging because of ...

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