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Stability and Change in Sports Fandom Over Time: A Longitudinal Study of U.S. Women's Professional Soccer Fandom

Allison, R.; Kossakowski, R.; Pope, S.

Authors

R. Allison

R. Kossakowski



Abstract

Scholars have recognized that sports fandom is not static, but temporal and fluid. However, little longitudinal research has traced the development of fandom over time. This analysis makes a new contribution to the sociology of fandom and women’s sport by drawing from interviews with 35 U.S. adults who attended the 2019 Women’s World Cup and were re-interviewed after the 2023 Women’s World Cup to consider how and why fandom of U.S. women’s professional soccer develops over time. Findings show stability in high levels of identification but fluctuating practices. Themes of the life course and opportunity structure show the importance of individual and team/league changes to fans’ ability to engage in a range of behavioral expressions associated with their fandom and also account for the small number of participants whose attachment to women’s soccer waned. By offering new insights on the factors that shape (changing) fan attachments and practices, we advance knowledge about women’s sport fans at a time when women’s soccer is undergoing rapid change. Our findings can also inform future longitudinal work in other sport contexts.

Citation

Allison, R., Kossakowski, R., & Pope, S. (in press). Stability and Change in Sports Fandom Over Time: A Longitudinal Study of U.S. Women's Professional Soccer Fandom. Sociology of Sport Journal,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 30, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 11, 2024
Journal Sociology of Sport Journal
Print ISSN 0741-1235
Publisher Human Kinetics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2481432
Publisher URL https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ssj/ssj-overview.xml