Masculinity And Football Essay

2230 words - 9 pages

A wise man once said "You can change your wife, your politics, your religion, but never, never can you change your favourite football team". Eric Cantona is a legendary retired player and he phrased it perfectly how millions of loyal football (soccer) fanatics around the world bleed the colors of their team. Variations of the game have its roots centuries back, but the modern version was finalized in Great Britain at 1600s. Since then, the game has conquered the hearts of billions and became the most commonly played sport on earth. A large number of football enthusiasts grew up playing it, breathing it, and religiously following it to a point where the club (team) they support gets embedded into their identity. "Social identity theory holds that people define themselves in part by their memberships and affiliations to various social groups"[5]. In our case, the social group is a football club. And these clubs are so deeply affiliated by football fans that their affiliations with teams become symbiotic. Both parties need each other to thrive. Without the faithful supporters a team appears weak and alone, and without a team to support a man is hollow and questionably neutral. It's almost as if a football team is like a man's child and every man should devote himself into caring for one. Therefore, a man's dignity, honor, and masculinity becomes so deeply connected to the football club they root for, that as a fanatic, they must always show unconditional support. This paper aims to make a global ethnographic analysis on the worldwide culture of football on men and how the game correlates with their masculinities. We will observe, compare and contrast this borderless cultural scene that unites gender, race, ethnicity, and age by its impact on certain national traditions and cultures, independent fanatic organizations, to the youth playing and growing up idolizing superstars and answer how/why a man's honor is parallel to the success and image of their rooted clubs.As the FIFA World Cup approaches, the global excitement and hunger for football becomes more apparent. This time, instead of local teams and national leagues, fans temporarily let go of historical rivalries amongst clubs and unite under their national colors for a month. This is a whole different and a bigger platform with two sides to it. Streets of many countries get flooded with national flags and football jerseys to demonstrate pride, loyalty, and association. Talks of current team performance, strategies, and possible outcomes against opponents can be heard in every store, office, and home. It unites people even those from different countries, it's almost like a break from reality. This was the first side of things; everything appears innocent and friendly; now let's take a look at the second. Football fanatics take a very strong pride and dignity from their teams, to the point where it can lead to vandalism and even fights leading to death. And the worst happened at the Swedish town...

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