The dynamics of interaction of football: the performance of a referee and its context

Raúl Márquez Porras

Original Language



This article, result of a short ethnography to consider how the referee is influenced by the context of action, addresses to some questions of football from a particular methodology. Based on Goffman’s theories, on the simbolic interactionism and on Norbert Elias, each match was observed as a unique micro-system where the referee was an actor more. Because of that we had to pay attention to the interactions between all the subjects in the stadium. After the monitoring during four months to a referee (selected according to the significants criterion of youth and experience), some important characteristics of the dynamic of football, of the development of matches and, therefore, of the context where the referees play were discovered. Also checking interviews and observations, we could conclude that their behaviour really changes according to the atmosphere and furthermore, that certain determining factors exist beforehand. Other questions –such as the perception inside the pitch, the imagery of the profession and the behaviour of others actors- had appeared as outstandings, calling for new researches.

Keywords: Ethnography, Football, Referees, Simbolic Interactionism.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Published: July 01, 2005