Studying Sports Fans through Ethnographic Method: Walk a Mile in their Shoes
Authors: Richards, J., Parry, K.D. and Spanjaard, D.
Editors: Sarver Coombs, D. and Osborne, A.C.
This chapter explores the benefits of adopting ethnographic methods when studying sports fandom. In a field largely dominated by quantitative analysis and fan typologies, the authors argue that through the use of ethnographic research methods a more holistic viewpoint emerges that provides deeper insights that cannot be captured though more traditional survey-based methods alone. The chapter begins by first describing what ethnography and autoethnography are, and then their application to studying sport fans. Drawing on two case studies, it applies this understanding to demonstrate the value of the ethnographic approach to gain a deeper insight into sport fandom.