An investigation into fan identity among supporters of the English soccer premier league in Lusaka, Zambia

by Komakoma, L.

Abstract (Summary)
This study investigates Zambians’ construction of identities based on their following of the English soccer premier league. The study seeks to understand how Zambian supporters of this league construct their identities based on their encounter with foreign teams/players and how they appropriate the meanings obtained through such viewing in their daily lives.

The study is informed by the theories of fandom. Using an ethnographic critique of the media imperialism thesis, the study attempts to explore the meanings that the fans of the English soccer league in urban Lusaka make of the mediated soccer games, while in and outside the viewing spaces – the bars – where the games are ritually watched in groups.

Based on the qualitative methods of focus group discussions, individual in-depth interviews and observations, the study probes the phenomenon of the consumption of English premier league football in countries abroad, focusing specifically on the experiences of fans in Lusaka, Zambia. Observation of this phenomenon in Lusaka reveals that fans find pleasure in the tactics that the teams in the league display, the professionalism of the players, goal scoring and self-empowerment for the few women supporters. This study probes these issues in greater depth.

The foremost conclusion of the research is that it neither completely rejects nor accepts the media imperialism thesis. Instead, meanings should be understood within the context of the lived experience and reality of the fans.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:journalism and media studies


Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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