The Industrialization of Football in Jamaica: a Cultural Analysis of Jamaica’s 1998 Reggae Boyz Road to France World Cup Campaign by Donald Davis

This dissertation examines football in Jamaica viewed through the bi- focal cultural lens of play and sport; looking at the evolution of recreational play to the level of work/business/industry (Hargreaves 1986), as well as the historical and social dimensions of the game and its impact on individuals, clubs, schools, communities, businesses and by extension- the Nation; at the psychological, social, cultural, economic and political levels of interaction.


Seeking to answer key questions: Can football/play be transformed from leisure activity to a ‘tool’ for social and economic development (Rodney 1974, Sen 1995)- using Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz successful Road to France World Cup campaign as the Case study, and to what extent has Jamaica’s football ‘developed’ during/since the Horace Burrell/Rene Simoes regime?


The subject requires an eclectic methodology utilizing both experiential and academic approaches including a semi-ethnographic historical analysis of football in Jamaica using Self as a Tool of Analysis. Field work involved attending various events (e.g. symposiums) and places (e.g. training sites), conducting numerous in depth and casual interviews with a wide cross section of informants (fans, sponsors, administrators, players, etc. using the phenomenological description of football in Jamaica.


The Reggae Boyz Road to France Campaign galvanized a ‘partnership’ of social, economic and political forces that epitomizes the ‘industrial path’ taken by football in Jamaica.



Leave a Reply