Football, conservative values, and a feeling of oneness with the group : a study of Polish football fandom

Radosław Kossakowski , Tomasz Besta


The main aim of this article is to show some characteristics of the identity of Polish football supporters. The results of a study conducted among 309 fans actively engaged in formal (supporters’ associations) and informal groups (e.g., hooligans or ultras), as well as data from qualitative research, reveal their strong identification with Poland as a country, with their family, club, and group of supporters. At the same time, Polish fans do not identify with “Europe” as a category. The fandom culture in Poland is characterized by such attitudes as honour, steadfastness, the “might is right” principle, and moral and economic conservatism. Supporters tend to sympathize with political parties embracing right-wing values. The article points out important elements of Polish history that could have affected the ideological construction of the supporters’ vision. In the absence of historical civic and left-wing tradition, Polish supporters emerged during the period of the country’s struggle for freedom as a community structured by militant, conservative, punitive, and masculine frames of reference. Since the values of a particular group cannot be analysed without an assessment of its broader cultural and social context, the article also presents the different dimensions of Polish history and society in order to provide a contextual background influencing fandom.
Author Radosław Kossakowski (FSS / IPSJ / DSEL)
Radosław Kossakowski,,
- Division of the Sociology of Everyday Life
, Tomasz Besta (FSS / IPsych / DPPFP)
Tomasz Besta,,
- Division of Personality Psychology and Forensic Psychology
Journal seriesEast European Politics and Societies, ISSN 0888-3254, (A 25 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets1.25
Keywords in Englishfootball supporters, social groups, identity fusion, political attitudes, Polish society
ASJC Classification3312 Sociology and Political Science
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)25
ScoreMinisterial score = 25.0, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 25.0, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 0.901; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 0.817 (2) - 2017=0.81 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.