Talking Prada and Powder: Cocaine Use and Supply among the Football Hooligan Firm



The first time we published jointly it was to describe in detail the func- tionality of cocaine (used in conjunction with alcohol and on its own) in the subcultural milieu of the English football firm. We suggested that cocaine use in this setting was habitually linked with quite extreme violent exchanges. Our ethnographic data suggested that for many foot- ball ‘lads’ involved in the more organised forms of football disorder, concurrent use of cocaine and alcohol fulfilled three main functions: the facilitation of extreme violence, the acquisition of ‘time out’ and the construction of a (hyper-) masculine identity (Ayres and Treadwell, 2012). Furthermore, data suggested that these functions were not con- fined to the subcultural context of the football firm, but had also become an integral component of their mainstream leisure pursuits within the night-time economy more generally. Hence, there was some blurring of boundaries between football spectator violence and more general per- vasive violence of the nocturnal leisure scene (e.g., see Finney, 2004; Winlow and Hall, 2006).


Drug Policy Organise Crime Masculine Identity Consumer Society Extreme Violence 
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© James Treadwell and Tammy Ayres 2014

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