Fan Identification in Modern American Sport

Miller, Rob
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
This paper will attempt to overview the current writing investigating fan identification in modern American sport. This bleachered being called "the fan" has possibly been the most neglected entity in serious research conducted in the American sporting arena. Harry Edwards, in the book, "The Sociology of Sport" has called the role of the fan, "... perhaps the least studied and understood in the institution of sport." According to Edwards, the fan is not merely a limp spectator passively biding his time within the countless stadia across this nation; he is, and has beem, a bital component within the institution of sport itself and beyond to the society at large. It is precisely this connection between the society at large and the sporting institution that I wish to explore in this paper, and to do so, one must look at the actual link between sport and society, the actor who bridges the gap; we commonly call him the fan. He is the entity from which sport draws its life's blood.
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