What to do with uncertain materials? A sociological analysis of violence in amateur soccer

By Didier Demazière, Williams Nuytens

Based on a series of investigations into violence in amateur soccer, this article examines the problematic character of discourse materials. In sociology, the uncertainty of speech is generally formulated in terms of the relationship between retrospective discourse and past reality. In the case discussed here, the unobservable character of the studied phenomenon reinforces this uncertainty, confronting the investigator with singularly fragile discourses. Moreover, discourses on violence abound, but rarely draw on the direct experience of the people interviewed. These findings lead us to characterize the status of these interviewees and informants and to define it by the paradoxical expression of potential witnesses. Then, we consider the problematic nature of the collected discourses, distinguishing between narratives of experience, canonical narratives and identity narratives, considered as so many ways of constituting, recounting, and arguing the phenomena of violence.

  • discourse
  • violence
  • amateur sport
  • witnesses
  • sociology
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info