Spirituality in Sports Fanship: the Case of English Football and Lithuanian Basketball Fans

Balcaite, Elena (2013) Spirituality in Sports Fanship: the Case of English Football and Lithuanian Basketball Fans. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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The changing religious landscape in developed societies has not only introduced a greater religious diversity but also initiated a search for alternative channels to connect with a greater perspective in life. Spirituality has emerged as a source of meaning and contemplation that can be expressed and experienced in various ways; hence being relevant to all aspects of life. As a result, spiritual concern has been addressed in a number of research areas, including education, social care, aesthetics, and business. The recent emergence of sport and spirituality as an area of study creates a context for the present enquiry, which considers elements of sports fanship, such as self-actualisation, self-expression, and social wellbeing, as potentially spiritual, arguing that these aspects might have been overlooked due to previous fanship research lacking diversity in methodological approaches. The study employed phenomenological interviewing in order to obtain extensive narratives from England National Football Team fans (n=5; M=48.6) and Lithuanian National Basketball Team supporters (n=5; M=34). A culturally diverse sample was selected in consideration of social and cultural influences that are apparent in both sports fanship and spirituality. The data suggest that elements of sports fanship may involve spiritual values for some sports supporters. The key themes identified through data analysis (1) ‘Connecting with Transcendence’, 2)‘Connecting with the Self’, 3)‘Connecting with Others’, 4) ‘Connecting with the World’) contemplate that involvement in sport does not only allow fans to experience momentary pleasures but also encapsulate significant meanings, which are a necessary attribute of a person’s spirituality. The culturally diverse sample, however, did not capture substantial cultural differences but rather proposed that personality traits are a more prominent factor influencing person’s spiritual involvement in sports fanship, which, therefore, could be addressed in future studies.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Masters of Science by Research
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sports fanship; spirituality; football fans, England; basketball fans, Lithuania
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2015 16:10
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:10
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1922

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