Football Coaches as Gramscian “Organic Intellectuals”

Exploring The Intersections of Football Driven Youth Subculture and Communication in Vyasarpadi (North Chennai)

  • Sukumar Thangaraj University of Madras


Studies on youth subcultures were pioneered by Stuart Hall and his colleagues, in particular, Dick Hebdige (1979), at the height of cultural studies’ emergence as a transdisciplinary plane during the 1970s-1980s. Subcultures made possible by youth and other sections of a given society are, according to Stuart Hall, the “raw material of social existence” (1976, p.10). They are innovative sites of communication as they bring together acts of resistance as acts of communication. In this context, this paper seeks to explore the intersections of Football driven youth subculture in one of the marginalised neighbourhoods of North Chennai, Vyasarpadi. Football has been the preferred sport among youth, both men and women, for the past few decades. The game has anchored the emergence of a youth subculture that is inspired and motivated in equal measure by the sport as well as the erstwhile players, who are seeking to leverage the game for the
all-around development of the youth. Antonio Gramsci’s (1929-1935/1971) concept of “organic intellectuals” is employed in this paper, Stuart Hall’s notions on Articulation (1980) and subcultures (1975) to examine the intersections of the Football driven youth culture, with the objective of uncovering the emergence of the coaches as “organic intellectuals”. This research flows as an autoethnographic account of myself as a football fan/research subject.

Jun 25, 2022
How to Cite
THANGARAJ, Sukumar. Football Coaches as Gramscian “Organic Intellectuals”. Communication and Culture Review, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 44-58, june 2022. ISSN 2582-2829. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 may 2024.