The first discourse states that football is popular because it produces the so-called mass catharsis, a movement that would unite all participants in the event in space/time that would break with the daily order, with hierarchies, etc.
- The explanation that, for example, disregards the fact that the social hierarchy is reaffirmed in the show itself, something that is noticeable in the distribution of spectators in the stadiums between bleachers, boxes and tribunes. In the case of ดูบอลสด this is very true.
The Other Options
The second recurring thesis states that football raises archaic behaviors, as it has components of tribalization, expressed mainly in the content of violence that exists in organized fans. For Bromberger, it is necessary to note the modern character of the supporters who organize themselves more like companies than as tribes, “with their salaried directors, their secretariat and those responsible for communication, in addition to the archivist and documentarist who are in charge of valuing the club’s heritage” (p.31). In addition, the fans are strongly mobilized by the media. By releasing and constantly releasing certain images, she creates and sustains identity bonds and is therefore also responsible for the excesses committed in the name of antagonisms between the clubs.
The Other Deals
The statement establishes a direct relationship between sporting tastes and social classes. There would be a correspondence between “the typologies that emphasize affinities between the properties of sports and the lifestyles or habits of those who enjoy them”. Football, for example, would concentrate characteristics (bodily, aesthetic) despised by the dominant class, unlike golf, which would be highly appreciated by it. Such a thesis – which Bromberger attributes to Pierre Bourdieu – disregards the fact that there are countless ways to appropriate the sport. For him, it would be more interesting to ask how “different social groups appropriate the same object, interpret the same practice, receive the same message”.
Then, Bromberger starts to discuss what would be the two main sources of football’s popularity: he theatricalizes social life “under the realistic illusion of the values that constitute the contemporary world” and embodies a range of “identifying possibilities, that classifies, exalts, says and makes belonging visible”.
Football as a theatricalization of social life
For Bromberger, football symbolically presents the main axes of contemporary life. It exalts merit and performance while revealing the uncertainty and mobility of individual and collective status. It has the capacity to embody the ideal of a democratic society in which one wins by merit and not by birth, represented in figures such as Pelé, Zidane, Maradona, Ronaldo.
To the individual merit has added the strength of teamwork, “of solidarity, of a division of tasks, the image of the industrial world of which it is a historic product” (p.36). And as in ordinary life, individual and collective merit is not enough, it is also necessary to rely on the force of chance, luck or luck. Football also “theatricalizes” social ties, the recognition of interdependence between individuals as a way to achieve happiness, the acceptance of human fallibility, which often generates injustices, among other aspects.
Football as the terrain of collective identities
Football’s ability to mobilize and demonstrate belonging is also responsible for its popularity. Regional and national team divisions that face each other regularly in tournaments and championships allow for a range of possibilities for symbolizing belonging. The teams ‘playing styles are also emblems of identity, although they do not always correspond to real practices on the pitch, being more related “to the way they (men) prefer to describe their teams’ game and their existence”. Football classifies belonging, even though the identity criteria are currently undergoing a major transformation.