Latin American countries have a strong soccer culture that is an undeniable part of their social, cultural, and political life. The region is also surrounded by social, political, economic, and many other conflicts, so I explore how soccer functions as a mirror to society and all these conflicts. With its ability to mobilize people, soccer is also a space for political resistance. Recently, there have been different fan groups organizing around soccer to challenge the discriminatory, excluding, and oppressive behaviors that were understood to be part of the soccer culture in different countries in Latin America. These fandom groups are a spontaneous articulation of fans that aims to create a comprehensive social-political debate around gender and sexuality in soccer. This paper looks at transnational soccer fandom activism, focusing on feminist groups (coletivos feministas) emerging around soccer in Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, that engage in feminist activism and have been challenging masculine dominance in different ways. I explore how women are able to mobilize around soccer and incorporate a feminist analysis into their practice of social change, particularly looking at how they are connected to one another. I use interpretivist methodologies and ethnographic methods to understand how these groups are re-imagining a political space (soccer) and their relevance in the current political context. Results suggest that these feminist collectives seek to overturn political, social, and economic structures while trying to establish an emancipatory vision of society.
PresentersLuisa Turbino Torres
Assistant Professor, Center for Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies, Florida Atlantic University, Florida, United States
Soccer Fandom, Latin America, Feminist Activism