University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Interpreting and Exploring Football Fan Rivalries: An Overview.

Benkwitz, Adam and Molnar, Gyozo ORCID: (2012) Interpreting and Exploring Football Fan Rivalries: An Overview. Soccer and Society, 13 (4). pp. 479-494. ISSN Print: 1466-0970 Online: 1743-9590

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Academic literature on football fans has shifted focus, away from the study of ‘exceptional fans’, most notably hooligans, towards ‘everyday fans’ and their experiences. Especially, the rivalry-related aspect of football fandom has been given growing attention. Gradually increasing literature has demonstrated that rivalries are unique and complex, underpinned by social, historical and/or cultural factors. This suggests that each rivalry must be studied in-depth in order to understand the underlying factors that shape oppositions and social identities. Although attempts have been made to sociologically explore rivalries in such a way, two fundamental issues have not been fully addressed: paucity of in-depth empirical evidence and lack of transparency in terms of research methodologies. Therefore, this essay, after locating football rivalries within the broader genre of fandom, proposes to use ethnographic research methodologies to elicit rich, qualitative data, thus providing empirically grounded interpretations of fans’ perceptions. Also, it calls for more open and detailed methodological and theoretical discussions which would aid our understanding of the unique and complex factors underpinning football fan rivalries.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: socio-cultural approaches, football, football rivalries
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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Depositing User: Gyozo Molnar
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2014 13:59
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:03

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