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Raisin; in the Sun? Reconsidering African and Caribbean Diaspora and Association Football in Europe

Chanzo Greenidge

This presentation is intended to address issues of race, class, gender, and nationalism in 20th-21st century global cultural economy of sport. The paper begins by proposing a methodology for positioning European football in the context of issues such as gender and post-Fordism, core-periphery relations and migration which are the basis of the author’s wider doctoral research project (Migration, Transnationalism and the Global Diasporic Economy: Implications for Caribbean Development Theory and Policy). In developing a critical assessment of the strategic political and economic value of professional football to the African Diaspora and the complex economic and cultural relationships created by the globalization of club football in Europe, particular attention will be paid to the English, Spanish, French and Italian leagues.

This work challenges current approaches to poverty and social mobility in the migrant/diasporic experience using the specific context of African/Caribbean migration to Europe and the European football industry. The paper argues that, beyond recent incidents of racism in European football, limitations in the African and Caribbean Diaspora’s access to the upper echelons of football administration and enterprise demonstrate that the realisation of on-field dreams only disguises the continuation of the ‘plantation system’.
Keywords: Chanzo Greenidge, African/Caribbean Diaspora, Europe, Migration, Association Football (Soccer), Global Cultural Economy.

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