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The passion and performance of contemporary football fandom

Since their emergence in Italy in 1968, ultras have become the most dominant style of football fandom in the world. Since its inception, the ultras style has spread from Southern Europe across North Africa to Northern and Eastern Europe, South East Asia and North America. This book argues that ultras are an important site of enquiry into understanding contemporary society. They are a passionate, politically engaged collective that base their identity around a form of consumption (football) that links to modern notions of identity like masculinity and nationalism. The book seeks to make a clear theoretical shift in studies of football fandom. While it sits in the body of literature focused on political mobilisations, social movements and hooliganism, it emphasises more fundamental sociological questions about group formation, notably collective performances and emotional relationships. By focusing on the common form of expression through the performance of choreographies, chants and sustained support throughout the match, this book shows how members build an emotional attachment to their club that valorises the colours and symbols of that team, whilst mobilising members against opponents. It does this through recognising the importance of gender, politics and violence to the expression of ultras fandom, as well as how this is presented on social media and within the stadium through specular choreographies.

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Centralising emotions in football fandom
Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski, and Svenja Mintert

Centralising emotions 43 2 It’s only a game? Centralising emotions in football fandom The hot summer sun is beating down as the rare heatwave continues across Britain. Fans arrive at the small stadium in shorts, T-shirts and sunglasses, ready to enjoy an afternoon’s football. It is the first match of the season. The pre-season friendlies have gone well under the new coach who has been working with the young team and now has the opportunity to put that hard work into action. Even though the World Cup in Russia made it feel that football had not gone away, in

in Ultras
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Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski, and Svenja Mintert

fists to the air in exaltation. Through their displays of emotion, they acknowledged the importance of the goal to the fans of Livorno, and by extension the city’s inhabitants who have a longstanding rivalry with Pisa that pre-dates the codification of football in the nineteenth century. As play restarted, the fans were back on their feet, all the flags were waved wildly and the volume of the songs lauding the city of Livorno were significantly amplified. The intensity of the chants increased as more fans joined in, while the capos at the front exaggerated their

in Ultras
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A conclusion
Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski, and Svenja Mintert

group. Key matches, notably local derbies, require more attention. Choreographies will be planned months in advance, which helps intensify the individual group members’ attachment to the ultras group throughout this preparation. These regular, repetitive acts generate a range of emotions. From the pleasure of sociability and being around people like yourself (Simmel, DOIDGE__9780719027624_Print.indd 182 08/01/2020 10:19 Conclusion 183 1950) to the joy and ecstasy of celebrating a goal or a hard-fought victory, fans will experience emotions that contrast with

in Ultras
Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski, and Svenja Mintert

queue jumping or spilt pints of beer were taken into consideration, violence at football matches is very rare. This is one of the reasons why the media focus on riots. Violence is so atypical that when it does occur, it becomes something worthy of attention. As Randall Collins (2008: 20) observes, violence in wider society is also rare: Violent interactions are difficult because they go against the grain of normal interaction rituals. The tendency to become entrained in each other’s rhythms and emotions means that when the interaction is at crosspurposes  –  an

in Ultras
Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski, and Svenja Mintert

platform for posting photos and videos for the presentation of the group to themselves and others. This can also intensify rivalries as ultras groups strive to compete for more exposure or commendation for their tifos. On a deeper level, the images and discussions that take place on social media can become a focal point for each group. As outlined in earlier chapters, the emotion and solidarity of the collective is a powerful motivating force, as Collins (2004: 49) argues, ‘whoever has experienced this kind of moment wants to repeat it’. The images reify the memories and

in Ultras
Liene Ozoliņa

to take stock, connect with one’s emotions and share them with others. The seminars were at times reproducing neoliberal ethics and thus reinforcing state control but also at times inventing and creating new ways of being. The psychological discourse that they espoused was used for the process of ethical becoming (rather than simply being interpellated) (Faubion 2011: 65). Thus, this analysis reveals how the seminars worked as both a space for rehearsing a particular – neoliberal – morality but also as a space for ethical self-formation that went beyond ideology

in Politics of waiting
Narratives of Ukrainian solo female migrants in Italy
Olena Fedyuk

expected in all women's labours’ (Keough 2016 : 170). Seeing the power geography of such sexscapes, and how Ukrainian women work hard to define the terms and conditions of their intimate relations in Italy, allows me to unfold the economy of power relations, inequalities, and reciprocity in encounters of migrant women with local men. The moral economy of migration is another analytical framework that will guide my inquiry into the role emotions, economy, and power play in encounters of Ukrainian women with Italian men. It builds on elaborations of

in Intimacy and mobility in an era of hardening borders
Open Access (free)
Recorded memories and diasporic identity in the archive of Giuseppe Chiaffitella
Nicola Scaldaferri

unique case of sound memories recorded in private and domestic contexts and used to transmit information at a distance and provoke emotions. We also know about the examples of voice mail recorded during the first half of the twentieth century (Levin 2010 ) and of the records sent in the 1950s by Kostantinos Chronis from the USA to his family in Greece, with recordings of vocal letters, songs and news of the family (Panopoulos 2018 ). Chiaffitella’s uniqueness lies in the fact that he would never mail these recordings; he would always take them with him, together

in Sonic ethnography
Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski, and Svenja Mintert

emotion that hegemonic masculinity can dominate in fandom. Wider gendered social and cultural norms dictate how emotions are expressed and by whom (Lutz, 1988). These are associated with the power dynamics within wider society (Abu-Lughod and Lutz, 1990). Emphasising the Western underpinnings of hegemonic masculinity, suppression of emotion is considered to be a masculine virtue. Mastery and control of emotions, particularly those that display vulnerabilities like fear, anxiety or even love, emphasise certain hegemonic norms. Being ‘emotional’ is frequently viewed

in Ultras