“Scotland’s Shame” – A Discourse Analysis of How Rangers Football Club Fans Make Sense of Behaviour That Has Been Deemed Prejudice.
People go to great lengths to dodge the identity of prejudice in everyday interactions. Previous research has argued that there is a ‘norm against prejudice’ and illustrate how many speakers orient towards this. In terms of ‘new prejudice’ when speakers are producing an argument against a minority group, they frame it in such a way that attends to possible accusations of prejudice. However, there remain instances of ‘old prejudice’ such as explicit prejudice and a case were this is reoccurring is within sport, and in particular football. Speakers who exhibit features of ‘old prejudice’ either make little or no explicit effort to distance themselves from the views being expressed, or, indeed, treat such views as reasonable in the context in which they are being expressed. This study examines how, in the context of an online discussion forum, Rangers Football Club fans make sense of offline behaviour that has been deemed as prejudice and whether or not the behaviour should be treated in such a way. Analysis identified three strategies fans used to negotiate prejudice yet also illustrated that the issue of whether or not particular offline behaviour counted as prejudice remained unresolved. Future research should explore these negotiations of prejudice in broader contexts, to complete a fuller understanding of what constitutes prejudice in everyday talk.