Football fans are passionate and devoted followers. They are also creators and dissenters, performers and producers. This volume analyses football fandom through the media that fans use to construct fandom itself. Media is the lifeblood of modern life; it is the canvas on which ideas are spread, communities are formed and identities are expressed. Today’s fan has an unprecedented variety of tools in which to express their passion, commune with others, and become a fan in front of local, regional and global audiences.
The football stadium has always been rife with symbolism. Colourful scarves and communal songs and chants evoke and display local pride and distinguish us from them. The Italian football stadium has a particularly rich history as a place of collective celebration, mourning, support and political dissent. Over time, Italian fans have integrated print, radio and television into their rituals of fandom while modern digital media allows fans to publicise their identities to global audiences. This volume addresses the beauty and humour as well as the fear and anger that are conveyed in the spectrum of media as fans attempt to assert themselves as material and spiritual ‘owners’ of the club of their affection.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Soccer & Society.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Fandom face to face 3. Performance in the stands 4. Print media: circulating fandom 5. Broadcast media: live and in-person 6. New media: online fandom 7. The football brand dilemma 8. Fan politics: dissent and control at the stadium 9. Conclusion
Matthew Guschwan has written extensively about Italian football fans. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana where he occasionally lectures about fandom and media culture.