From Loving the Hero to Despising the Villain: Sports Fans, Facebook, and Social Identity Threats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research explored how University of Cincinnati football fans used Facebook to manage a social identity threat arising from head football coach Brian Kelly leaving the school to become the head coach at the University of Notre Dame. A thematic analysis of 717 wall postings in the "Get Out of Our City Brian Kelly" Facebook group was conducted. Results revealed that fans responded to this social identity threat in the following ways: (a) rallying, (b) stigmatizing, (c) victimization, (d) intimidation, and (e) degradation. The results suggest that social media sites are prime vehicles for sports fans to collectively manage social identity crises. Social media enables fans to perpetuate messages that elevate group distinctiveness, minimize in-group issues, and derogate out-group members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-509
Number of pages23
JournalMass Communication and Society
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'From Loving the Hero to Despising the Villain: Sports Fans, Facebook, and Social Identity Threats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this