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The 'twelfth man' in the cyber stands: exploring football fan discourse and the construction of identity on online forums

Carvell, Pippa 2013. The 'twelfth man' in the cyber stands: exploring football fan discourse and the construction of identity on online forums. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Some football fans go to matches, but what do others do? This thesis examines online football fan forums in order to explore the construction of fan identities and positions. By implementing a cyberethnographical approach supplemented by online interviews with fans, it explores how football fan communities operate, discussing aspects of forum management, control and hierarchies, all the while illustrating how these factors contribute to the development of individual and collective identities. In considering this, it presents football fans as inhabiting a multitude of complex positions, taking into account arguments of 'active' and 'passive' fandom and the importance of fan status (Hills, 2002.) I argue that that there has been a significant lack of research into 'everyday' football fandom, with both the mainstream media and academic perspectives preferring to focus on the extraordinary instances of performance and behaviour, which, I further argue, are simplistic in their treatment of fans. Mainstream media representations are addressed; with the latter sections of the thesis illustrating that discourses produced by fans themselves often contrast significantly with dominant narratives at play in the news media. The football fan is found to demonstrate articulate consideration for his/her own position, with this being frequently determined by the overriding importance of the team's success and the part that the fan plays in this. This is particularly apparent when considering national and regional allegiances, and how these can be seen to present regular areas of conflict in regards to dominant affiliation, yet all the while contributing to the fan's position as an extension of the football club.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > PE English
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:39

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