Football (or soccer in America) is one of the most popular sports in the world, it is played worldwide from the United Kingdom to the Laos Islands. Usually called the beautiful game, fans' traditions are inherited from parents to children, and legendary players are venerated as demigods. However, with its growth, also came the growth of a billions-worth “non-profit” industry governed by FIFA. The love of the game is also used to explore the concept of “nation” and has a long history with dictatorships using “passion” to cover up their human rights violations as well as attempts to use it to reinforce national identities while reinforcing racial stereotypes. The present study examines the relationship between fans and identities (as well as how they perceive rivals), the exploitation of the sport for nationalistic purposes and how athletes carry that mission, and how racism and football are intertwined with a special focus on Latin America and Europe due to their long history with the sport.
The research for this study consisted of peer reviews from different studies on the sport, from the sociological to the political level, as well as zoom interviews with fans around the world and questions done in the r/soccer subreddit. Interviews were from 7-10 total people, and roughly ten answers to the question on reddit. Among the limitations for this study is how fans are a heterogeneous group - and how most fans do not think alike, and the major findings were that even though some people choose to become fans on their own, it is usually a family tradition and that people usually prefer a nation win over a club win.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs
Natera Benitez, Paula Andreina, "Sport, Masculinity, Race and Nation: A Case of Fandom and the Football Industry" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1178.