Masculinity and Football

Essay by jackmeeCollege, UndergraduateB+, November 2014

download word file, 9 pages 0.0

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...