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Chinese football fandom and civic identities: a study of the fans of Shanghai Shenhua and Beijing Guoan
journal contributionposted on 23.10.2020, 13:06 by Kaixiao Jiang, Alan BairnerAlan Bairner
This article aims to understand how the relationship between Chinese football fans and their clubs has contributed to the local symbolic status of clubs. More specifically, the article focuses on the cases of the Greenland Shenhua Football Club (Shanghai) and the Sinobo Guoan Football Club (Beijing). By using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis, the article reveals that a club’s ability to be successful, the length of interaction between fans and clubs, and fans’ own civic identities are key factors for the development of fan loyalty. Moreover, fans’ influence on clubs’ operations and their behaviour at matches, even of a more extreme type, have contributed to the clubs becoming symbols of their respective cities. This article demonstrates a mode of football fandom development which has not been influenced to the same extent as in Europe and South America by family inheritance.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences