Honors Theses

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Joshua First

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

This paper aims to explore the relationship between soccer from a regional perspective using FC Bayern Munich and Munich, Germany and Borussia Dortmund and Dortmund, Germany and how those cities’ soccer teams elicit political and regional identities through the dichotomy between the fans and the business mindset of contemporary German soccer. A media analysis using two German language newspapers was used in order to collect articles that reported on the two soccer clubs apart from their result on the field. Pre-existing Twitter hashtags were also used to collect fan reactions towards the reported events. The findings revealed three different crises the teams had to contend with based on fan reactions towards the club’s actions away from the field. These three crises include international dealing, mass marketing and commerce, and extremism/Ultra Fans. The findings led to the conclusion that the actions of both teams away from the field influenced the fans’ identity in that it solidified the fans political-ethical values. Furthermore, the crises revealed two overarching themes which include, the tension between fan desire for a soccer club that prioritizes them and the realities of global soccer, which is big business. The second is the political identity of the fans and how the teams attempt to influence that.

Comments

A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

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