Stone, Duncan (2008) Cricket's regional identities: the development of cricket and identity in Yorkshire and Surrey. Sport in Society, 11 (5). pp. 501-516. ISSN 14610981

Cricket literature, and that of English society generally, has attributed almost diametrically opposite regional identities to the counties, players and supporters of Yorkshire and Surrey County Cricket Clubs. This essay aims to reveal the causal factors in the development of these identities, establish the extent to which they are 'real' or 'imagined' and discover if the stereotypes presented have any contemporary relevance.

The essay utilizes a survey of 400 supporters to establish the different regional meanings for cricket and to test the perceived identities or stereotypes of the two counties. A comparative analysis of the historical development and control of cricket in each county, literary representations and wider social contexts are then used to establish the various reasons for differences in the regional meaning of cricket.

The essay concludes that regional differences in the development and control of the game, its image and presentation have been critical to the development of these cricket identities and cricket's meaning or function for contemporary supporters - particularly in Yorkshire. It goes on to suggest that certain myths have been advocated by social scientists and that a more 'orally historical' approach may help in the explanation of identities previously thought to represent either 'commonality' or indeed 'difference'.



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