Identity, Scale and Soccer Supporter Groups: the Case of the Timbers Army

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Sports in Society

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The purpose of this article is to examine how Timbers Army members collectively construct and present their supporter group identity through an awareness of and interaction with soccer and supporter culture at different socio-geographic scales. Central to this is a strong attachment to and with place – most specifically to the city of Portland, Oregon, where the team is based. Using participant observation and interviews, we explore how the group’s identity evolved in a country without a history of soccer support. The findings illustrate how individuals and collectives come to view themselves and their locality within a globalized world through processes of glocalization and relativization. Soccer and its attenuate supporter culture(s) are perfect arenas for exploring social identity and the fuzziness of geographic borders within global–local interactions due to the global appeal yet highly specific local manifestations of soccer support.



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