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Title: Football and 'patria' : sport, national narratives and identities in Argentina, 1920-1998
Author: Alabarces, Pablo
ISNI:       0000 0001 3409 6168
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2001
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The work draws upon the centrality of the idea of Nation in the wider context of globalisation, with football as the primary analytical focus. The study is based in an historical framework beginning with the moment of the foundation of the national football narratives in Argentina, and culminating in the 1998 World Cup in France. Football's contribution to the construction of national identity began in the 1920s, alongside the growth of formal schooling, and these new influences affected the nature of citizenship in different ways. In 1945, in the context of Peronism, the sport spectacle was inaugurated as a national ritual: it confirmed the expansion of the nation and the inclusion of new popular subjects. The post-Peronism years were marked by a modernisation process that, in the realm of sport, consolidated an aggressive and paranoid nationalist discourse. Since 1973, the growing politicization of the society displaced the discussions towards the political sphere, leaving the stadium as a space for partial epics only. Five years later, however, the patriotic representation in football reached its summit, due to the victory in the 1978 World Cup, in the context of the - repressive - suppression of political rights by the dictatorship. This apogee of nationalism was also fuelled by the growing power of the mass media, and the emergence of Diego Maradona. He had a major symbolic influence during the 1980s, when the association between football and television became central in the configuration of the spectacle; the figure of Maradona was the catalyst for the patriotic trope, cementing the separate strands of nationalist discourse in a climactic celebration of Argentinean national identity. After the decline and fall of Maradona, the central question posed in this work is: can football work as a post-modern substitute of the traditional institutions which produced nationality? This work, drawing upon media archives, contemporary sources and a series of in-depth qualitative surveys, postulates that football is not a cultural machine, a producer of nationality; but that the most powerful and influential such cultural machine is television. And football would be just one of its genres.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available