Roger Domeneghetti

Dumbs gone to Iceland: (Re)presentations of English national identity during Euro 2016 and the EU referendum

This paper analyses (re)presentations of English national identity during the 2016 UEFA European Football Championships which were held in France between 10 June and 10 July of that year. Set against the backdrop of Britain's referendum regarding membership of the European Union, the tournament took place during a time of heightened debate about English national identity. Employing inductive textual analysis and drawing on Anderson's (2006) concept of imagined community, Hobsbaum's (1983) notion of invented traditions and Guibernau's (2007) strategies for the construction of national identity, England's three most popular newspapers, the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, were examined. While the papers' narratives employed familiar tropes which referenced England's past history and employed militaristic metaphors and the 'us' and 'them' cliché, there was also demonstrable uncertainty regarding the articulation of 'English' (and 'British') national identity

Keywords: England, Euro 2016, football, media discourse, media sport, national identity


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Note on the contributor

Roger Domeneghetti is a lecturer in journalism at Northumbria University. He is the author of From the back page to the front room: Football's journey through the English media. He has more than 20 years' experience working as a journalist for a variety of local and national print and online publications.