Süper Lig supporters in Vienna: local strategies and transnational ties of football fans abroad
(University of Vienna)
Paper short abstract:
The paper analyses the local strategies that fans of the Turkish football league in Vienna/Austria employ to be able to carry on supporting their club from abroad. Thereby, it pays special attention to the role of technical devices and internet related services in this transnational process.
Paper long abstract:
Migrants often wish to continue their favourite activities and interests despite being in a different country. The love of a football club is part of a fan's identity and does not simply stop when abroad. Therefore, the paper focuses on the impact that migration has on the identities of Süper Lig supporters in Vienna.
A Süper Lig fan living in another country can rarely attend a match at a stadium. As a consequence, the internet, smartphones and television become essential tools to facilitate their participation in the fan culture of their favourite club. Concurrently, the importance of locations like living rooms, bars and restaurants increases, and the meaning of football in everyday life changes. Supporters simultaneously miss out and gain a shared experience: missing the immediate experience and discourse in Turkey, yet sharing the experience of a victory or defeat in the local setting and discussing it internationally on the internet, fan identities become transnational.
Scrutinising the transformation of fan culture once supporters have left the place where the bonds of loyalty to a football club were initially formed, the paper seeks to draw conclusions about the way identification processes work during and after migration. Thereby, it aims to understand the consequences of increasing mobility in Europe, the ties of transnational fan cultures and the influence of new technology in this process. Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork, the paper analyses the everyday strategies migrant football fans in Vienna use to deal with the situation of being a fan abroad.
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