I Love You Kid, But…: Intergenerational Soccer Fandom Conflict

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8 Scopus citations


Although sports fandom is one of the broadest and most significant social phenomena in modern life, few studies have examined the sources of children’s sports fandom. The reason may be related to the presumption that the main source of a child’s fandom is his or her father. Indeed, literature has repeatedly stressed the role of the family, and specifically the father, in shaping children’s identification with sports teams, alongside other social and psychological factors. The current study examines the significance of the untypical cases in which a son does not follow his father’s path and chooses to support a different soccer team. As uncommon cases frequently highlight what is commonly taken for granted, the current study explores the deep meanings of a disruption in fandom legacy that fathers typically take for granted. Through in-depth interviews with fathers whose children support a soccer team other than their own, the current study identifies that such fandom choices of sons, impact fathers on four levels, namely family legacy, team heritage, masculinity, and religious identification. Intergenerational fandom conflicts between father and son highlight the powerful implications of fans’ connections to their respective teams, and the continuing role of gender-based expectations in the world of sports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-904
Number of pages12
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • conflict
  • family
  • fans
  • fatherhood
  • sports


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