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The Hooligan's Mind

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Football hooliganism is a world phenomenon and an everyday matter. Society spends a lot of money to prevent and control it. We need to know what hooligans think in order to anticipate their actions and prevent their violent behaviors. In this paper, I propose a theory of the hooligan's conscious mind, by analyzing the thinking of a real Italian hooligan who was my patient. I will show that violent behaviors of hooligans are not unconscious, because the mental states (both beliefs and goals) of hooligans are explicitly represented in their mind. In contrast, I will suggest that both supporting and fighting are planned (i.e., goal directed), because “recognized supremacy” is explicitly represented as the ultimate goal. In fact, hooligans support and fight in order to be recognized as good hooligans, i.e. as good supporters as well as good fighters.
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Keywords: behavioral science; fighting; forensic science; goals; hooligans; recognized supremacy; supporting; violent behaviors

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Section of Criminology, Department of Pedagogic, Psychological, and Didactic Sciences, University of Lecce, Via Stampacchia, 45/47–73100 Lecce, Italy

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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