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Title: Articulating an identity : the transformation and globalisation of Barcelona Football Club in the Catalan media
Author: Watson, Lee
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 5391
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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The following thesis represents research exploring the rhetoric of nationalism generated by the sporting arena in contemporary Spain and Catalonia. A sporting institution, FC Barcelona, is shown to have attained an almost mythical status as a symbol of regional identity where the stadium and club may be seen as a metaphor for the imagined nation. Support for the club is perceived as part of a broader movement of cultural resistance, maintained and re-invented through historical events, both real and imagined. The thesis represents an analysis, both empirical and theoretical, of the media through which football is disseminated, with a particular focus upon those narratives which serve to construct a sporting institution's elevated symbolic status in the nation's popular memory. Such an examination has enabled the extraction of themes that reflect regional and national identifies as well as national obsessions and invented traditions. Sport is understood as part of a broader cultural identity under transformation and the effects of post-modernism, post-nationalism and globalisation upon Catalanism as a whole. I shall focus upon three distinct periods since the Transition to Democracy that I feel illustrate perfectly these processes and effects. The three periods to be analysed in three different chapters are firstly; the early Transition to Democracy 1976; then 1992 when an increasingly autonomous Catalonia and successful FC Barcelona utilise sporting achievement and event hosting to locate the nation in a European and post-national context. And finally we consider the contemporary FC Barcelona and its context in a truly globalised setting. Each chapter begins with a degree of contextualisation and an explanation of the historical background to the period, followed by close readings of the text available in the newspaper at that time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available