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Cheering as an indicator of social identity and self-regulation in Swedish ice hockey supporter groups
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
2012 (English)In: International Review for the Sociology of Sport, ISSN 1012-6902, E-ISSN 1461-7218, Vol. 47, no 2, 133-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to explore whether cheering could be a sign of the social identity of a supporter group, and further to investigate if cheers could serve a self-policing purpose. The matches included in this study were classified as high risk matches. The observational data made it possible to construct a taxonomy of cheering based on the implicit meaning of the cheers. The observations proved that cheerleaders were able to break off aggressive and violent tendencies by introducing supportive cheers and thus enhancing a peaceful social identity among the supporters. In contrast to the Emergent Norm Theory (Turner and Killian, 1972, 1993), that states that group processes emerge without prior coordination and planning, this study demonstrates that collective actions can be influenced and controlled by the cheerleaders. The results indicate that self-policing seems to be more efficient, in order to secure order, than policing by force. The originality of this research is not primarily the taxonomy of cheers, although being an innovation, but the evidence for planned synchronicity and coordination as tools for breaking destructive collective actions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications (UK and US) , 2012. Vol. 47, no 2, 133-148 p.
Keyword [en]
cheers, hooliganism, ice hockey fandom, self-regulation, social identity
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-76184DOI: 10.1177/1012690210388458ISI: 000301347400001OAI: diva2:513215
Available from: 2012-03-31 Created: 2012-03-30 Last updated: 2014-09-10

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Granström, Kjell
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Department of Behavioural Sciences and LearningFaculty of Educational Sciences
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