This panel's focus is on exploring expressions of home, locality and belonging in the context of spectator sports such as football. Themes of national pride, local communities, cultural ownership and home grown talents are just a few possible angles within the theme's many dimensions.
The popularity of spectator sports in Europe, such as football, is quite persistent. In the context of 'the game', there are many entangled connections to society at large. Popular spectator sports offer an opportunity to re-establish, contest or reinvent symbols and categories, making new sense of them. One such dynamic is the use of home, locality, family and nation, which appears to clash with the increasingly growing global nature of spectator sports as well as increasing financial entanglements that may threaten the 'local character' of such 'home-grown' games as football. Sports, and sporting events, are practiced within a flexible context that can be shaped according to the surroundings and current needs, it presents many opportunities of inclusion and exclusion. It can create barriers or stress unity, promote integration or racism. This flexibility encompasses appropriations of cultural symbols, heritage practices, mass performances of banal nationalism and contestations of cultural ownership. This panel invites speakers interested in exploring the themes of creating a feeling of home and a local community in the context of a sport event. Themes of national pride, local communities, cultural ownership and home grown talents are just a few possible angles that nevertheless show the theme's many dimensions.