Accepted Paper:

The affective performance of Argentinian soccer fans  

Author:

Matthew Hawkins (Carleton University)

Paper short abstract:

Soccer matches in Argentina are visceral and evocative performances. This paper explores how fans in the stadium produce and apprehend a complete sensual experience that contributes to their ever changing emotional states during a match.

Paper long abstract:

Loud booms emanate from the large base drums of the band restarting the crowd's singing. For a second time in less than ninety minutes many in the crowd are crying, this time in joy. A goal has led to the San Lorenzo's fans' euphoric explosion of sound and a collapse of people into multiple embraces. Soccer matches in Argentina are visceral and evocative performances. Argentinian fans talk about their relationship to soccer as one involving passion and suffering. Terraces come alive as affective realities: from sensational violence to outpourings of joy, sadness, and anger. Fans in the stadium apprehend a complete sensual experience that contributes to their ever changing emotional states during a match. Using the ethnographic description of a match of Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo against Rosario-based rivals Newell's Old Boys and the research's participation in more than sixty Argentinian soccer matches, this paper explores the unfolding world of the Argentinian soccer fan during a match. Drawing on performance, phenomenology, and Bakhtin's theory of communication, this paper argues that the production of emotion within the stadium space is a collective effort that requires practiced bodies and historically constituted ideologies merging into a dialogic and multivocal performance.

Panel MB-AMS07
Socio-cultural anthropology of sports