Football, Subcultures, Society: the Bulgarian Case in Anthropological Perspective Cover Image

Футбол, субкултури, общество: българският случай в антропологична перспектива
Football, Subcultures, Society: the Bulgarian Case in Anthropological Perspective

Author(s): Evlogi Stanchev
Subject(s): Anthropology, Social Sciences, Customs / Folklore, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Culture and social structure , Sports Studies
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН
Keywords: football; Bulgaria; identity; subcultures; hooligans; ultras

Summary/Abstract: This paper analyzes the phenomenon of football subcultures in post-socialist Bulgarian society through the use of relevant anthropological methods. The emphasis is on the fundamental markers of identity (spaces, symbols, behavioural practices, etc.)shared by the different subgroups united around the football game (ultras, hooligans). The author’s main argument is that “authenticity“ (first of all in supporting one favourite football club) represents the central notion within supporters’ identity despite the permanently evolving nature of their practices and ideas. Furthermore, the Bulgarian case shows that there are two parallel and inextricably related processes within local football fan groups – on the one hand, there is an increased adaptation of examples and models from abroad (via the usage of the Internet and various socialБългарска етнология, бр. 2 (2021) / 251networks), and on the other hand, these imported trends of football fandom “mix“with local specifics. Moreover, the article sheds light on the various places, notions and popular stereotypes about football supporters in the general social context of present-day Bulgaria. Methodologically, the paper integrates some of the main theoretical paradigms of the subject at hand and is based on the author’s detailed ethnographic insider research among the football subcultures.

  • Issue Year: 2021
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 229-251
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Bulgarian