Globalised football fandom: identity of Viking, Persib Bandung supporters

2017-02-22T02:14:58Z (GMT) by Prabasmoro , Tisna
This research explores globalisation and Indonesian football. Understanding that football around the globe has transformed rapidly in the past few decades, with the rise of mega clubs, global competition, rising income, TV coverage, and Internet, the research considers what these changes mean for Persib, a legendary football club in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, as well as for their fanatic supporters known as bobotoh, particularly Viking – the largest group of Persib fans. It analyses the development of Persib by focusing on local and national mass media and the development of media technologies. Given the financial, technological and organizational changes of Persib and the application of FIFA football regulations to Indonesian football, this research argues that Persib has been significantly affected by international patterns of globalisation. The findings also indicate that in their development bobotoh have been innovative in their responses to the commercialization of the club. Unlike the Western culture of football fandom, bobotoh have transformed themselves from a group providing a space for small informal Persib-related gatherings to a serious business endeavour, supporting and accommodating their members with Viking and Persib-related merchandises. Also, it is argued that as bobotoh has continuously associated themselves with a football fan group socially recognized as a group glorifying masculine traits in which they use Viking and other groups of Persib supporters as their vehicles for self-identification, socialization, and expression of their private and collective identities.