Is football your attitude? ELEVEN attitudes


PROJECT - scientific aspect

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european premiereaustrian premiereproject 2003

11 DAYS, 11 LOCATIONS, 11 ATTITUDES: the scientific aspect

The project consists of two main parts: a website and a documentary.
After taking a closer look at these, it’s necessary to give some information about the basic theory behind the project.

1) The Website:

Starting with this website we intend to create an internet platform for any kind of soccer fan, with the possibility to participate in our project. This means: fans are asked to get in touch with the film crew by making contact via the website. And it´s very simple. Just enter our CONTACT ZONE on and tell us your motivation for being a soccer fanatic. Send us pictures, texts or soundfiles, or apply for our online-casting via e-mail and be an active part in the project!

This means fans will get the chance to meet the filmmakers on chosen locations to talk about their personal attitude towards their favourite passion.

From the 16th to the 27th , of June, our 11 days of filming on location in Portugal, the website will feature an audio and video based diary of the daily outcomes. We will show our working methods and give you a realtime overlook of the developing project.

2) The documentary:

The second part of 11attitudes consists of the documentary film itself, where we will put the highlights of our collected material together to produce a serious filmographic insight into soccer fandom. The final outcome will be a DVD, which will presumably be released in September 2004.

This means fans will get the chance to meet with the filmmakers on chosen locations to talk about their personal feelings for their favourite passion – SOCCER.

The film team, accompanied by a sociologist and a cultural anthropologist will choose 11 locations over the duration of 11 days to portrait 11 different attitudes from fans of different nations, with a special focus on the Portuguese fan scene.

3) Theoretical – analytical basis:

Soccer is a mass phenomenon as well as a mass media phenomenon.
Since its invention in the 19th century soccer has been a background for social, political and cultural developments, on which collective wishes and conflicts were projected*.

Forced by processes of professionalism and commercialization which are enhanced by mass-media, soccer has adjusted its cultural appearance, from an element of proletarian culture to a part of today´s entertainment industry.

The show-character of professional soccer has affected the way how viewers experience it. Viewers have to be divided in active (in the stadium) and passive supporters (in front of TV). Pure passive supporters normally don’t go to the stadium regularly. They are used to changing cameras and angles, slow motions, professional commentators, “best-of”-scenes, etc, and therefore experience soccer in the stadium as boring or at least as worse than on TV.

This rises the question if supporters at an international championship are mainly active supporters. It is no question that they play an important part in the game: they are the indespensible atmospherheric escort of their team and can be considerably responsible for the result of the match.

Basical concepts:

1) The social-historical approach:
the civilisation-specific variant works mainly on violence and sports. The basical theory is: violence is a part of sports and therefore for soccer as well.
The class-specific variant works on the connection between ways of lives and soccer-culture.

2) The class-theoretical approach:
works on detailled and new social developments. The disposition-concept of Pierre Bourdieu (1979) is used in this context to be able to analyse fandom.

3) The subcultural approach: emphasises on the aesthetic component of fandom.

4) Organisation-related approaches work on the internal strucuture and the function of fanclubs.

5) Psychological approaches emphasise on individual behaviour mainly aggression-theory orientated.

Concept 2), 3), and 4) are relevant for the project. These five approaches are of course not complete, much more has been published, but these are the most popular ones.

Motivations of soccer-fans:

- Consumption-orientated fans want to experience exciting situations, presented by others. The success of the supported team is inherently necessary. The group orientation is rather low.

- For soccer-orientated fans the experience of exciting situations stands in close relationship to the athletic performance. Loyalty is more important than success. Group orientation exists.

- Event-orientated fans see soccer as a show and exciting situation that they produce themselves. Groups are not stable**.

Methodological approach:

The form of questioning is narrative:
Premises of the interview: The conversation should be open-minded. It should be narrative as well as interrogative(with a determined goal). The questioning should be flexible, but with a concept apt to proove the hypothesis.

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* Horak, Roman/ Reiter, Wolfgang (Hg.): „Die Kanten des runden Leders – Beiträge zur europäischen Fussballkultur“, Promedia, Wien 1991, S.9.

** Heitmeyer, Wilhelm/ Peter, Jörg-Ingo: „Jugendliche Fussballfans – Soziale und politische Orientierungen, Gesellungsformen, Gewalt“, Juventa, Weinheim und München 1988, S.33.