Voetbalfans als verbeelde gemeenschap? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1385-1535
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7324


Soccer fans as imagined community?

Soccer fans as imagined community?

Football fandom in Germany is said to unite people who, outside of football, do not have much contact: it creates imagined communities. To study how that works, I carried out anthropological fieldwork among fans of Borussia Dortmund. While interviews and observations initially confirmed the presence of an imagined bond among the fans, later on I observed many cleavages between the fans, based on socio-economic and ideological factors. Other than celebratory high points of football matches, it appears that the imagined community does not transcend such cleavages. It shows that fanhood is a partial identity marker, which is ultimately weaker than identification with the direct community of family and other significant others.


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