A casual obsession: Inside the British Sock Fetish Council

Groves, A. 2022. A casual obsession: Inside the British Sock Fetish Council. Critical Studies in Men's Fashion. 9 (2), pp. 187-206. https://doi.org/10.1386/csmf_00059_1

TitleA casual obsession: Inside the British Sock Fetish Council
TypeJournal article
AuthorsGroves, A.
Abstract

This article interrogates the positioning of socks as a culturally transgressive garment by football casuals through a case study of the British Sock Fetish Council (BSFC). While most studies contextualize casuals within a discourse of hooliganism and violence, their use of dress as a means of negotiating shared masculine identities remains under-researched. Founded in 2011, the BSFC quickly grew to over 1000 card-carrying members, holding meets at Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham and London, as well as at football matches throughout the United Kingdom. Within the BSFC, the term ‘fetish’ is not used to denote a sexual predilection by an almost entirely heterosexual community. Instead, it acknowledges the members’ obsession with clothing and highlights the sub-textual tensions inherent in their individual and collective practices. The author was an active participant within the BSFC, witnessing first-hand the community’s development through the online dissemination of highly constructed, self-generated imagery, featuring colourful, patterned socks juxtaposed with rare trainers. This article explores the self-reflexive use of social media to construct group practices and provides insights into how socks were instrumental in establishing consensus on inclusive and hybrid masculine identities within this community.

Keywordscasuals
football hooliganism
socks
menswear
hybrid masculinities
fetish
subculture
JournalCritical Studies in Men's Fashion
Journal citation9 (2), pp. 187-206
ISSN2050-070X
2050-0718
Year2022
PublisherIntellect
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1386/csmf_00059_1
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1386/csmf_00059_1
Publication dates
Published01 Aug 2022

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