Flaming flares, football fanatics and political rebellion: resistant youth cultures in late capitalism

Dominik Antonowicz , Radosław Kossakowski , Tomasz Szlendak


The aim of this chapter is to explore the phenomenon of football fanatics in Poland. The analysis is conducted in the light of rapid political, economic and cultural modernisation that Poland has undergone since it joined the European Union (EU). At the heart of our analysis lie football fanatics, young people passionate about football and their clubs — and undoubtedly one of the most interesting yet still largely underexplored aspects of Polish society (Sahaj, 2007). Football fanatics, also known as industrial fans or scarf boys (see Antonowicz, Kossakowski and Szlendak, 2011), are among the most active young people in modern society both on and off the football pitch. In thinking about their role in society it is useful to consider the concept of civil society explored by Alexis de Tocqueville and his seminal book Democracy in America (2000 [1835]), written while he was travelling across America. The French philosopher was positively surprised by the degree of self-organisation and civic activism of local communities. His attention was particularly drawn by a number of voluntary associations, through citizens’ attempts to advocate but also balance various needs and interests in the public realm. These grass-roots activities and civic engagements stood in opposition to what he had experienced in France, in which society relies on the good or bad will of the ruler. If Alexis de Tocqueville was to witness contemporary Poland, he would see a number of fan organisations that attract highly active young people to act in the public realm. Most probably, he would find them to be the beating heart of civil society in Poland.
Author Dominik Antonowicz
Dominik Antonowicz,,
, Radosław Kossakowski (FSS/IPSJ/DSEL)
Radosław Kossakowski,,
- Division of the Sociology of Everyday Life
, Tomasz Szlendak
Tomasz Szlendak,,
Publication size in sheets1.00
Book Schwartz Matthias, Winkel Heike (eds.): Eastern European youth cultures in a global context, 2016, Palgrave Macmillan UK, ISBN 978-1-349-55912-1, [978-1-137-38513-0], 386 p., DOI:10.1057/9781137385130
URL http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057%2F9781137385130_8
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)5
ScoreMinisterial score = 5.0, 05-09-2019, MonographChapterAuthor
Citation count*15 (2020-07-09)
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