Fútbol; Rivalry and Fan Identification in Rosario, Argentina
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Argentina is one of the world’s best known football countries and it is the passion and devotion of the fans in combination with fierce local rivalries that makes Argentine football unique. The derby between Newell’s Old Boys and Rosario Central is considered to be on of the fiercest in Argentina. As two of the oldest teams in Argentine football, they have a shared history of playing against each other during a period of over a hundred years. This thesis is an effort to research the identity construction and identification processes of a fan community. It discusses who the Newell’s Old Boys fans are, what shapes their fan identity and how do they express their fanship nowadays. To understand the rivalry, this thesis explains that is has historically been constructed by the crossing of several historical fracture lines crossing each other on the geographical level (historical link with neighborhoods) and socio-economical level (elite vs. working class). Although describing four categories of fans within the Newell’s fan community, the thesis mainly focuses on the die-hard fans, who strongly identify with the club. The article shows how fan identification is based on the club’s cultural identity and the loyalty of the fan community.