Performative Sport Fandom: An approach to retheorizing sport fans

Anne C. Osborne, Danielle Sarver Coombs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Current literature on sport fandom is dominated by social identity theory, emphasizing dichotomous categorizations that contrast 'fans' versus 'others' based on easily measured variables (wearing a jersey, attending a match, etc.). We believe that this approach often excludes those who may consider themselves fans of a team, athlete or sport but may not fit within the proscribed and predefined norms of fan behaviour. To bridge this gap, we draw from identity theory and performative gender theory to propose Performative Sport Fandom. We believe this new theoretical approach is a more ecumenical and nuanced way to understand sport fans on their own terms by focusing on how these roles are performed. Performative Sport Fandom also lends itself to examine how roles are negotiated both internally and externally, including how they are blended and what happens when roles conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-681
Number of pages10
JournalSport in Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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