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The Construction of Group Identity by Members of Sport Fan Community: the Case of Fans of the Hockey Club "Dynamo St. Petersburg"

Student: Kristina Pribytkova

Supervisor: Elena L. Omelchenko

Faculty: Saint-Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Area Studies

Educational Programme: Modern Social Analysis (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2018

The focus of the study is the fans of the hockey club "Dynamo St. Petersburg", which are the "ultras" group. The research question is how the group identity of fans of the HC "Dynamo SPb" is constructed. The relevance of the study is due to the fact that: 1. sports fanaticism is one of the significant forms of social interaction; 2. peaceful fan groups have been poorly studied in modern Russian science; 3. hockey fans, especially hockey "ultras", are extremely rarely the object of sociological research. In our research we use a qualitative methodology. The methods used for data collection include observation (57 hours of observation) and interviews (10 semi-structured and 5 unstructured interviews). To study the fan community a conceptual framework was chosen - the concept of "scene". The group identity of the fan "scene" is constructed at the expense of group practices, meanings, rules, building the opposition "one's own/others" and own physical space and space of meanings. Each of these elements of group identity was analyzed in this study.

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