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“Follow, follow?”: A thematic analysis of how geographical location, social intensity & masculinity are predictors for ‘casting’ nationality with football

Walker, Scott (2012) “Follow, follow?”: A thematic analysis of how geographical location, social intensity & masculinity are predictors for ‘casting’ nationality with football. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The following research uses principles derived from Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory. It treats the display of national identity as a “category-congruent self-definition” (Hogg, 2006, p.66) and explores this through the presentation of a British national identity with the supporters of Rangers F.C. of Glasgow. Based around research by Abell (2011) and Kelly (2008) this study aimed to discover when an individual casts their nationality in relation to football, if there was a distinction between ‘being’ and ‘feeling’ a nationality and if a Scottish national identity could be utilised at international level. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with seven Rangers supporters from contrasting locations across England and Scotland. A thematic analysis was then conducted on the data based around the principles outlined in Braun & Clarke (2006). The analysis concluded that geographical location, social intensity & displays of masculinity were the main themes that predicted ‘casting’ nationality with football. There was also a distinction found between ‘being’ and ‘feeling’ a nationality, which highlights its functionality. This research adds to the literature surrounding the utility of social categories that construct identity. Subsequent research should attempt to further the understanding of how social categories are constructed and how this influences behaviour.

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