Football: A Social History of 'The People's Game'

Ref: C2226739

Association Football is a global game, played on every habitable continent. But, how did it become so? This course looks at the development of football from the medieval 'folk games', how and why it was adopted and standardised in English Public Schools and how and why it was disseminated to the Victorian working-class. The course also examines how the working-class 'appropriated' the modern game from the gentleman elite and claimed it as their own. The course further examines its growth in 'the golden age', the growth of spectatorism and of the changing relationships between players and their clubs during the 20th century. The course requires no prior qualifications or experience of social history; just an enthusiasm for studying this fascinating topic.

Additional information about this course

Half term break 19/02/2020

Course aim

This is the story of how a pastime originally enjoyed by the common people and later standardised by a Victorian gentleman elite became a multi-million pound global sport played by people on every habitable continent.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recall the key drivers of the development of Association Football.
  • Debate the relative merits of different approaches to understanding the development of Association Football.
  • Explore the role of spectatorism in the development of Association Football.
  • Examine the semi-feudal and later the capitalist nature of the relationship between players and their clubs.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Each week will consist of a PowerPoint presentation followed by a group discussion based on prior reading.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • Readings will be provided. You just need to bring a pen and paper for taking notes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • The course is designed for anyone interested in social history and/or Association Football.

Download full course information sheet

Football: A Social History of 'The People's Game'

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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