The IFC’s interdisciplinary approach enables flexibility in its analysis and research of multitude of issues. This approach allows it to enhance knowledge and understanding and provide fresh insights.

Fan culture is a dynamic and diverse phenomenon that is in constant flux. The IFC welcomes suggestions for new fields of research. Please contact us at



The IFC adheres to rigorous academic standards and methods in scrutinizing fan culture across the globe and illustrating what being a fan means and how that is changing. The IFC aims to deepen understanding of the social, cultural and political significance of sport. In doing so, it seeks to contribute to the role of sport as one binding element in an individuals relationship to society.


The IFC’s research interests include:



  • Developments and perspectives of being a fan
  • The beginnings of soccer
  • Soccer fans and their role in Nazi Germany
  • Fan culture in authoritarian regimes


Sociological research interests:

  • Soccer through the ages
  • Women as fans – gender issues
  • Homophobia in fan culture
  • Security – How safe are sports events?
  • Mega events as platforms of protests and struggle for human, labor and gender rights
  • Soccer and its modes of socialization
  • Fan culture and politics
  • Fans and their heroes – objectification of players


Subcultural phenomena:

  • Comparative research into fan cultures in different cultural, social and political settings
  • Soccer fans in the USA
  • Neo-Nazis in eastern Europe’s fan scene
  • The role of soccer fans in popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Brazil – where fan culture and religion intertwine
  • Soccer boom in Asia


Research Questions

The number of research questions within the IFC’s field of interest is infinitive. Key areas include:

  • Psychological and psychoanalytical approaches to fan culture
  • Fan careers and biographical research
  • Media, politics and society


These are some of the questions we are seeking to address:

  • Spectacle – Why do we enjoy watching?
  • The Game: What exactly does draw our attention?
  • Identification: How docommitment, dedication and devotedness between fans and players emerge?
  • Empathy: How do we empathize in the game, the players and the gaming situation
  • Experience and adventure: Which emotions do arouse in the stadium and which experiences do fans search for?
  • Singing and chanting: How are we connected in joint singing in the stadium?
  • Signs and Symbols – The semiotics of the stadium
  • Scorn and derision: What do players feel when the whole stadium pours out vials of wrath?
  • Pride: Sense of nationality in the stadium and in fan scenes
  • Power: The leaders of fan groups and the struggle for power between fan groups
  • Autograph: How much value lies in a signature?