College field trip to Millwall studies ‘working class culture and habits’
A college has been branded ‘offensive’ for arranging a trip to a Millwall football match so that students can observe ‘working class culture’.
Varndean College in Brighton says the trip will give students the chance to learn about ‘working class culture and habits’, ‘issues around sexuality, race and ethnicity’ and ‘women challenging gender norms’.
A poster displayed at the sixth form college also urges students to enjoy pies and Bovril and ‘even talk to fans’ at Brighton and Hove Albion’s American Express Community Stadium.
It also features a newspaper article about a former Millwall football hooligan.
TalkSPORT newsreader Robyn Schönhofer tweeted: “The words ‘offensive’ and ‘stereotyping’ spring to mind.”
Jon Hatchman added: “Varndean College using stereotypes against ‘working class’ Millwall fans as a sociology experiment. Really not cool.”
Pete Bailey, Head of Sociology at the college, defended the trip, claiming that the Millwall game was the only evening match around this time of year.
He told the Telegraph: “As part of the AQA AS Sociology syllabus on Culture and Identity, students are expected to study the relationship of identity to gender and social class among other things, also the relationship between leisure activities and identity.
“Going to the football provides an opportunity to look at some of these things outside the classroom.”
One Varndean sociology student and Millwall fan said the perception of Millwall was ‘outdated’, adding: “As a Millwall fan I think there are some underlying, unjustifiable stereotypes about Millwall.
“From the college’s point of view, and as a sociology student, I understand them using the trip to try to explain some sociological terms but I do feel that ‘women challenging gender norms’ is unfair as women have been attending football games since day dot.”