It’S Far More Important Than That: Football Fandom and Cultural Capital.

Cultural capital (Bourdieu 1984) is proposed as a model for an exploration of the consumer behaviour of football fans.  Ethnographic studies of two fan communities shows the presence of systems of cultural capital used to maintain social distinctions between ‘real’ fans and ‘daytrippers’ or 'barstool' fans. Sytems of cultural capital are also used to grant group membership to those deemed worthy of it. Furthermore, cultural capital is used not merely to practice social distinction, but as a means of sacralisation maintenance, in this case to ensure that the sacred identity of the group is perpetuated through the recruitment of new members. Finally, while the inner circle of traditionalist fans view the market as a de-sacralising influence, the wider fan community consume official branded football merchandise in order to experience the sacred.


Brendan Richardson and Darach Turley (2007) ,"It’S Far More Important Than That: Football Fandom and Cultural Capital.", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 33-38.


Brendan Richardson, UCC, Ireland
Darach Turley, DCU, Ireland


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

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