By Cornel Sandvoss
Specialist soccer is among the preferred tv 'genres' around the globe, attracting the help of hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts, and the sponsorship of strong businesses. In A video game of 2 Halves, Sandvoss considers football's dating with tv, its hyperlinks with transnational capitalism, and the significance of soccer fandom in forming social and cultural identities worldwide. He offers the phenomenon of soccer as a mirrored image postmodern tradition and globalization.Through a sequence of case reports, established in ethnographic viewers study, Sandvoss explores the motivations and pleasures of soccer lovers, the serious bond shaped among supporters and their golf equipment, the results of soccer intake on political discourse and citizenship, soccer as an element of cultural globalisation, and the pivotal function of soccer and tv in a postmodern cultural order.
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Extra resources for A Game of Two Halves: Football Fandom, Television and Globalisation
Consider the example of a Chelsea fan living in South Africa, who remembers how he became a Chelsea fan more than three decades ago: I was reading the sports pages and came across the results or ﬁxtures of English soccer and noticed the word Chelsea amongst the teams. There is a suburb close to where I lived which was called Chelsea. Who Chelsea were, where they played, who played for them, I didn’t know, but I decided that, because I knew the Chelsea nearby, I would support the team. (Jerrell, Chelsea fan) Amazingly, football fans can base their fandom on as little as the seven letters of the name of a football club in a newspaper.
The club’s failure to achieve ultimate success reﬂects their realization that economic goals set by themselves and/or by their socio-cultural environment may remain elusive. In this sense, their fandom is based on the team’s failure. ’ Without having to take this account quite literally, its underlying logic is clear. The ultimate success of the club remains fantastic. Its fulﬁlment would mean a symbolic victory, a victory that cannot be mirrored in the fan’s life. The motive of underachievement is equally prominent in the case of other clubs regardless of their actual success.
Fans are more involved in terms of regularity and intensity in the reading of the texts constituting their fandom than other audiences. Their regular consumption of football is accompanied by often diametrically opposed readings of football texts among different fan groups. While this might be less surprising between supporters of different teams, opposing readings also emerge among fans of the same team. Compare the following extracts from interviews with two Chelsea fans, one a comparatively afﬂuent businesswoman in her 40s from Surrey (Karen), the other a 30-year-old fan writer and freelance journalist living in Brixton (John): I think Chelsea stand for success.
A Game of Two Halves: Football Fandom, Television and Globalisation by Cornel Sandvoss