Year of Graduation
The Formation of the Group Cohesion Among the Russian Football Fans
Sociology of Public Sphere and Social Communications
Paper focuses on a study of group cohesive and identical practices of football fans. Unlike most modern, highly-cohesive social groups, which are oriented on intra-group interaction, football fans are also active participants of the public or inter-group interaction (which is not typical for the modern social situation, where this level of interaction becomes less and less common). The author makes an attempt to understand those making group cohesion and identity practices which contribute to the active development of this social group as an agent of the Russian public sphere. As a result, the key practices, which can be given here are construction of multiple binary oppositions ("we" - "they", "fans" - "rooters", "participants" - "observers" etc.), the making and maintenance of the group's historical memory, as well as the active statement of the fundamental homogeneity or similarity of its elements and their unity. Moreover, all these practices are rooted in the crucial form of interaction of this group – a “football fanaticism” game, – which, all in all, becomes the foundation for the shift of group activity to the public level. In this case, the streets of cities acquire the status of a game space, where this bright, irrational, giving the chance to escape from everyday life game continues.