Sandvoss, Cornel (2011) Jeux Sans Frontières? The Reformulation and Erosion of National Categories in European Club Football Competitions. In: 61st Annual ICA Conference, 26-30th may 2011, Boston, Massachusetts. (Unpublished)

This paper examines the extent to which the proliferation of European Cup competitions, the migration of professional football players across Europe and the international and transnational distribution of domestic football competition shave impacted on audiences’ and fans’ construction of frames of territorially bound identity from the local and regional via the national to the continental and global.

Based on qualitative audience research in the United Kingdom, Germany and Turkey, the paper examines how fans’ object of fandom is constructed within and across such territorial categories and the degree to which Europe and Europeanness constitute experiences and horizons of expectations through which professional football is negotiated.

In the analysis of audience interviews and online fan fora, the paper draws on recent theories exploring audience affect, popular culture and constructions of Heimat in media consumption as well as theories of cultural globalisation and diasporic identity.

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