Sport Fans: The Psychology and Social Impact of Fandom, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sport Fans

The Psychology and Social Impact of Fandom, 2nd Edition

By Daniel L. Wann, Jeffrey D. James


304 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-08-17
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Sports, and the fans that follow them, are everywhere. Sport Fans: The Psychology and Social Impact of Fandom examines the affective, behavioral, and cognitive reactions of fans to better comprehend how sport impacts individual fans and society as a whole. Using up-to-date research and theory from multiple disciplines including psychology, sociology, marketing, history, and religious studies, this textbook provides a deeper understanding of topics such as:

  • the pervasiveness of sport fandom in society
  • common demographic and personality characteristics of fans
  • how fandom can provide a sense of belonging, of uniqueness, and of meaning in life
  • the process of becoming a sport fan
  • sport fan consumption
  • and the future of sport and the fan experience.

The text also provides a detailed investigation of the darker side of sport fandom, including fan aggression, as well as a critical look at the positive value of fandom for individuals and society. 

Sport Fans expertly combines a rigorous level of empirical research and theory in an engaging, accessible format, making this text the essential resource on sport fan behavior.


"Written by the A-Team of sport fandom researchers, Dan Wann and Jeff James, Sport Fans: The Psychology and Social Impact of Fandom reviews and discusses the importance of the most current research from psychology, marketing, history, sociology, and religious studies examining those rabid followers of sport teams. This book is a must read for anyone who has ever wondered, ‘Why do those sport fans act so crazy?’ Sport Fans will hold an honored place on my bookshelf and is a resource I will use often in my work."Rick Grieve, Western Kentucky University, USA

Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to the Study of Sport Fans

Part I: How and Why Fans Follow Sports, Teams, and Athletes

2. The Process of Becoming a Sport Fan: The Psychological Continuum Model

3. Points of Attachment: Understanding Connections to Teams, Players, and Beyond

4. Motivation and Sport Fandom

5. The Impact of Sport Fandom on Sport Consumption Behavior

Part II: The Emotional and Aggressive Reactions of Sport Fans

6. The Emotional Reactions of Sport Fans

7. An Introduction to Fan Aggression

8. Understanding the Causes of Fan Aggression

9. Sport Fan Riots

Part III: The Consequences of Sport Fandom for Individuals and Society

10. The Psychological Consequences of Sport Fandom

11. The Societal Consequences of Sport Fandom

Part IV: Summary and Conclusion

12. The Future of Sport Fandom: Gazing into the Crystal Ball

About the Authors

Daniel L. Wann is Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Murray State University.

Jeffrey D. James is the Mode L. Stone Distinguished Professor of Sport Management in the Department of Sport Management at Florida State University, and also Chair of the department.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology