Author:Andreas Droulias (University of Alaska)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores the interplay of national identity and global awareness in two major football tournaments, namely the European Championship of 2004 in Portugal and the World Cup of 2006 in Germany.
Paper long abstract:
The European Championship of 2004 in Portugal and the World Cup in 2006 in Germany provided arenas in which football fans from all over the world redefined their national identities. This interaction took place under an overarching global consciousness of the "football fan". It is argued that this consciousness, in these sporting events, created a non-threatening environment where everyday people had the chance to spontaneously express, reassert and celebrate their national uniqueness at the same time that they could transcend boundaries, socially and culturally constructed, that differentiate them from others. This is a complex process that deserves systematic investigation in light of, to date, unsuccessful political and economic efforts to replicate it. The paper is based on participant observation in both tournaments where the anthropologist was himself subject to these processes.
Staging sport and celebration: the power of play