Contributor(s)Brown University (EE.UU)
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AbstractThis article investigates the tensions between official rules of Fair Play in football (soccer) and onthe-ground formations of the notion of fairness in Turkish football. I contend that while fair playguidelines prescribe universalists standards of ethical behavior for all football actors, there aremultiple instances in mundane football events which result in players’, fans’ or othercommentators’ variant appreciations of the ethical. Specific contingencies give birth to alternativeformations of fairness leading us to consider how ethics might be a matter of constant negotiationrather than of preset verdicts. Using legal anthropology’s insights on legal pluralism and sportsphilosophy’s discussion of conventionalism, I focus on specific footballing instances in Turkishfootball and offer various social rationales in regard to how multiple ethical verdicts might bereached. In this discussion, I include how some footballing conventions in Turkey come intoconversation with the written rules of football and set guidelines of fair play to show that peopledraw on different sets of rules (written and unwritten) in their deliberation of fair action, fair playawards and ethics. This article is the result of a year’s fieldwork in Istanbul beginning September2010 towards a doctoral dissertation in anthropology on fair play and fairness in football in Turkey.