Portland State University. Department of Sociology
Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology
1 online resource (v, 143 p.) : col. ill.
Football, Globalization theory, Portland Timbers (Soccer team), Soccer fans -- Oregon -- Portland, Soccer -- Social aspects -- Oregon -- Portland, Culture and globalization, Group identity
Soccer has a global reach and is entrenched in the lives of millions of people throughout the world, but the culture surrounding it is not as strong and never has been in the United States. Nonetheless, there is a recent emergence of American supporters groups that exhibit characteristics similar to those outside of the US. This ethnographic study focuses on one such group, the Timbers Army, to explore how they construct their own unique supporter identity and to understand how participants come to see the group relative to their understanding of the world at local and global levels. To explore this, this work employs globalization theory, in particular that of cultural hybridization and glocalization. In turn, through an iterative, grounded theory approach, the findings elucidate key concepts related to these theories. Briefly, the findings show how the Timbers Army's particular identity is constructed through multiple influences including an attachment to the city of Portland, a fierce regional rivalry, national references and recognition, and an awareness of and interaction with the global socio-cultural institution of soccer. This work is the first to acknowledge the burgeoning movement of American soccer supporters and provides a starting point for further inquiry into groups that exhibit both a strong local attachment and an outward looking global perspective.
Wagner, Jesse Harold, "Cultural Hybridization, Glocalization and American Soccer Supporters: The Case of the Timbers Army" (2012). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 937.