(Dis)locating nations in the World Cup: football fandom and the global geopolitics of affect

Mel Stanfill, Angharad N. Valdivia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The World Cup, as a tournament that pits national teams against one another, initially seems to be a site where support for sports is tied to nations. However, situating this sporting event at the intersection of discourses of globalization, transnational circulation of capital and populations, and theories of fandom, our examination of diasporic populations found that the choice is not a simple one between ‘origin nation’ and ‘residence nation.’ Instead, the decision of which team to support relies much more on an attenuated, complex notion that we call transnational affinity. We examine this concept in relation to the context of transnational flow of players, media, spectators, and capital, contending that locating nations or national preference in the World Cup requires understanding the contemporary de- or trans-nationalization of not only sports but identity itself beyond the binary of national and global.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-119
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Identities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • Transnational media
  • diaspora
  • identity
  • sports fandom
  • sports media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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