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The influence of symbolic communities on soccer culture in the greater Los Angeles area: a study into why Latinos learn to play a distinctive form of soccer

Kirkpatrick, Adam Dennis (2013) The influence of symbolic communities on soccer culture in the greater Los Angeles area: a study into why Latinos learn to play a distinctive form of soccer. Masters thesis (MSc), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

This study offers insight into Latino soccer culture within the Greater Los Angeles areas. It investigates how a multiplex of cultural situations shape how Latino males acquire and develop culturally informed soccer skills, that are expressed collectively as a distinctive style of playing the game. In the hyperreal city of fragments (the unreal and real) some socio-cultural ‘fragments’ have an authenticity. In part this gains expression in the form of a soccer culture, that shapes a style of playing. Soccer as a culture, as a style of play, emerges from the culture of these fragments. It is less a style that can be coached and rather it is a style bound to cultural belonging. This study identifies these fragments that are the assemblage of the authenticity, to offer insights into soccer as belonging: an expression of identity. The findings show that the strongest relational connections in relation to the (re)production of a particular ‘Latino soccer culture’ were Religion, Family, Identity and Community. Moreover, the findings indicate that in Los Angeles soccer cultures transcend space and are instead (re)produced through racial, cultural, socio-economic, political, historical similarity and difference (s). In a hyperreal city, it seems that part of its fragments are still centred around ‘authentic’ cultural origins. These cultural origins are re-presented through various symbols within Latino communities. The Anglo and Latino Los Angeles communities appear to be symbolically separate, although it appears that some (re)formulations of soccer culture are (re)produced as a result of interaction between them.

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