Browsing by Subject "spectator sports"

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  • Kuittinen, Vesa (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    The thesis focuses on football from the perspective of experience consumption. Experience consumption is used in this context to describe events and moments when one experiences unusual and memorable emotions. As a counterweight to everyday rationality, consumption of experiences has become ever more popular. The subject is dealt with experience society, sense of community and consumer tribe concepts. Special attention is given to cultural events, spectator sports as a social phenomenon as well as various football-related consumption patterns. The study is a phenomenological-ethnographic descriptive research. The methods used were participant observation and interviews. In the research tradition, understanding and describing of phenomenon as well as writing are essential. Observational data was collected in three different events by monitoring the behavior of spectators and the factors creating the atmosphere. The interviewees have been selected discretionary. Interviews were open by nature. Fascination of sports as a pastime is based on creating strong emotions; therefore spectator sports is experience consumption at its purest form. Sports is an excellent experience product because of its large number of patterns of consumption and because sports events build up an endless continuum. Also my own data indicates that a common history creates a bond with community, and future events help to keep up the enthusiasm. Even the moments of disappointment are essential, because every experience enhances the feelings for the “own” sport and community. In the sports events the experience itself is always subjective, but the existence of the community is necessary. Spectators have ambiguous desire to belong to a group and at the same time to be an outsider. They can choose to observe the game quietly themselves in the middle of the crowd or cheer with other spectators. Evidence suggests that a football fan's enthusiasm can gush from two sources: from the sense of community and from the interest in the game. Sense of community arises from the feeling of belonging to the global football community, to your own team and to a circle of friends. The interest in the game includes football as a sport, regular events watched actively and supporting your own team. Neo-tribe theories are not very relevant in this context, because football supporters are very loyal to the game and to their own club. It is more important to create tight bonds with a small collective, with whom they share a common history and they can share experiences through discussions and by memorizing.