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Embodying the nation: football,1 emotions and the construction of collective identity

  • Sven Ismer (a1)


The article intends to combine contemporary debates about nations and nationalism with a sociological perspective on collective emotions in its attempt to gain a better understanding of the process of constructing national identity. It will further present interdisciplinary evidence that collective emotions evoked in rituals instigate a number of group-related sociocognitive processes that reinforce enduring feelings of belonging and an emotional priming of collective representations. I will suggest that states of “collective effervescence” (Durkheim) do not only tie individuals to a community, but also provide a strong frame for the creation of symbols and the embodiment of shared meanings defining a community. The second part of the article analyzes examples taken from the football media coverage of the FIFA World Cups 2006 and 1974 (both were held in Germany) in order to provide a comparative case study exemplifying the proposed theoretical approach. The sample illuminates some interesting changes that invite further hypotheses about corresponding changes of national identity in a larger context.


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Embodying the nation: football,1 emotions and the construction of collective identity

  • Sven Ismer (a1)


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