The research project “The Identity Effect of Europeanised Lifeworlds: Becoming European through Football? (EUFoot)” aims to explore the importance of everyday activities, i.e. football fandom and spectatorship for the formation of a European identity.
Research on European identity paid rather little attention to the sport-related and supposedly non-political activities of football fandom. This is astonishing, given that the “global game” is played all over Europe, increasingly often through European wide competitions such as the Champions league and the Europa league. Player markets and football club activities reach beyond national borders. Our project examines the extent to which a Europeanisation of football fans’ perceptions and identities has taken place in times of Europeanised player markets, competitions and football governance structures.
We use a multi-method research strategy. The combination of comparative analysis and triangulation of data obtained through discourse analysis, survey research and in-depth interviews serves us to answer our main research question: To what extent are identities of football fans across Europe “Europeanised”? Any such Europeanised patterns of identification, nurtured in a lifeworldly context of activities are of both scientific and political relevance. Identity-formation in everyday (supposedly non-political) transboundary contexts is still under-researched. We will investigate the formation of identification patterns in non-elite discourses in several countries across Europe.