The FIFA World Cup tournament 2010: Conferring and consolidating identity among international students

Authors: Shipway, R.

Journal: Journal of Further and Higher Education

ISSN: 1469-9486

This source preferred by Richard Shipway and Lorraine Brown

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Authors: Brown, L. and Shipway, R.

Journal: Journal of Further and Higher Education

Volume: 38

Issue: 5

Pages: 709-729

eISSN: 1469-9486

ISSN: 0309-877X

DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2012.722199

This study highlights the importance of international spectator sports in the maintenance of collective identity among international students. No research has been conducted on the international student experience of sport fandom away from home and on the impact of such a following on national identification. Using qualitative findings from interviews with international postgraduate students in England, this paper shows how the FIFA World Cup tournament in 2010 offered the opportunity to celebrate and consolidate national and regional identity, as well as to heal wounds. Far away from the home country, the televised football matches galvanised students into forming temporary conational communities in a bid to recreate some of the atmosphere of celebration taking place at home, and to bond at a distance with the home culture. This paper offers an important contribution to the literature on international education by pointing to the role played by sport in the international student experience. © 2012 © 2012 UCU.

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