The passion and performance of contemporary football fandom

By Mark Doidge, Radoslaw Kossakowski and Svenja-Maria Mintert



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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2762-4
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: January 2020
  • BIC Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural, SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports, Anthropology, Sociology, Sociology: sport & leisure, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, Sporting events & management, Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography, Society & social sciences / Sociology & anthropology, Sociology: Sport & Leisure
  • Series: Manchester University Press


Since its emergence in Italy in 1968, one model of football fandom has become the most dominant in the world: the ultras. Producing complex choreography, chants, banners and pyrotechnics, ultras represent a highly organised style of fandom that has an increasing global reach and visibility. Over the last fifty years, ultras fandom has spread from Southern Europe across North Africa to Northern and Eastern Europe, South East Asia and North America. Their collective performance, unity and harmonisation not only distinguish ultras from other football fans, but from many other forms of group behaviour. By focusing on the common form of expression through the performance of choreographies, chants and sustained support throughout the match, this book shows how members build an emotional attachment to their club that valorises the colours and symbols of that team while mobilising members against opponents.

This volume seeks to make a clear theoretical shift in studies of football fandom by asking fundamental sociological questions concerning group formation, collective performance and emotional relationships. As a collective that pride themselves on having a shared, coherent sense of identity based on an act of consumption, ultras represent an important site of enquiry into masculinity and nationalism in contemporary society.


'Ultras The passion and performance of contemporary football fandom by Mark Doidge, Radoslaw Kossakowski & Svenja Mintert sheds light on the very complex subculture of ultras, which makes it a highly welcome addition to the existing sociological studies on ultras and football fandom. '
idrotts forum


1 The ultras' performance
2 It's only a game? Centralising emotions in football fandom
3 The formation of the ultras
4 Social media as a space of continuous performance
5 Ultras and the performance of gender
6 Violence and the world of the ultras
7 Ultras and politics
The ultras: a conclusion


Mark Doidge is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Brighton

Radoslaw Kossakowski is Assistant Professor at the University of Gdansk

Svenja-Maria Mintert is Professor for Business and Sports Marketing at the Fresenius University in Hamburg


By Mark Doidge, Radoslaw Kossakowski, Svenja-Maria Mintert

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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