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Celebrating the Social in Soccer: Spectators’ Experiences of the Forgotten (Blind) Football World Cup

de Haan, Donna and Faull, Andrea and Kohe, Geoff (2013) Celebrating the Social in Soccer: Spectators’ Experiences of the Forgotten (Blind) Football World Cup. Soccer & Society, 15 (4). pp. 578-595. ISSN On-line: 1743-9590 Print: 1466-0970

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Abstract

Sporting spaces draw together distinct social assortments. Football (in various forms), for example, generates specific types of spectators and spectator behaviours. Cognizant of this work, our paper examines the 2010 World Blind Football Championships (WBFC) and its spectatorship. We conducted semi-structured interviews, orientated around perceptions of disability/disability sport, with 285 spectators. The thrust of our paper is that the event affords spectators opportunities to better understand, appreciate and engage with the experiences of athletes with a disability. We argue that the unique context of blind football competitions (characterized here as an unthreatening, convivial, often familial-like, and somewhat parochial space) resulted in positive spectator experiences. We conclude that within the framework of bridging social capital, this unique sporting space afforded the creation of relationships between the athletes (and the sport) and the spectators, two groups previously separated by social distance.

Item Type: Article
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Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Science and the Environment
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Depositing User: Geoff Kohe
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2013 12:14
Last Modified: 06 May 2016 13:25
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2756

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