Entering the Field: The Fenerbahge Pub

The entering phase of research is often when the first findings are made (Lindner 1984). How are outsiders treated? Is a group used to welcoming new people or not? What is required to become a regular member of a group or to be able to enter certain places? The aim of the following sections is to show how I entered the research field, what kind of obstacles occurred when I tried to do so and in what way the analysis of these obstacles can be considered as first results (cf. Szogs 2014). Central to this introductory discussion is a critical reflection of my role as a researcher and my personal background.

The research draws on ethnographic fieldwork following an inductive approach. Using participant observation and narrative interviews, it is crucial to reflect the role of the researcher in the fieldwork process and also during the analysis. Donna Haraway follows the approach when she talks about ‘situated knowledges’ (1988). Haraway refers to the fact that the researcher produces a certain kind of research results that can only be understood when they are interpreted within the situation and context where, when and by whom they were generated.

Even the research field as I define it must be understood as a ‘praxe- ological construction by the researchers’[1] (Hess and Schwertl 2013, p. 32 [author’s translation]). Since a comprehensive and ‘radical contextual- ism’ (Ang 1996) is not possible in its entirety, it is nonetheless necessary to attempt to ‘contextualise radically’ to guarantee detailed insights into research practices. Ien Ang emphasises that the researcher is responsible for producing a certain reality and therefore must be open regarding his or her standpoint. This includes questions of for whom I am writing, in which context I am writing and what position I have myself (ibid., pp. 56-71).

My nationality, my gender, my social class and my political views influenced the research field and were important factors in the interview situations, during participant observations, regarding the choice of my research field and throughout the analysis. Therefore, a critical analysis of the entering period and the context of my perspective on the field is crucial to the interpretation of fieldnotes and interview transcripts, also for the following chapters.

I will exemplarily focus on my first visits to a pub that many supporters of Turkish football frequent. Throughout the chapters I will refer to this location as the ‘Fenerbah^e Pub’ in order to facilitate recognising this specific place. It was not the starting point of my research about Galatasaray and Fenerbah^e fans in general but it was the starting point of my research in the Fenerbah^e Pub and of the people and networks it comprises. I chose to look into this research period because the access to the people in the pub was initially rather difficult. My mobility in the pub was limited and I did not immediately succeed in connecting with people. This is why an analysis of the entering phase in this environment is helpful to understand not only the social rules of this specific place (3.3) but also general difficulties that reoccurred in different parts of the research (3.4). These difficulties provide insights in discourses and practices of power in society and its relevance among Galatasaray and Fenerbah^e fans in Vienna.

The pub consists of two rooms, a smoking area and a non-smoking area. The entrance and the bar as well as the two TVs are located in the non-smoking area. In the smoking area it is possible to install a big screen and a projector (Fig. 3.1).

The Fenerbah^e Pub is a central location for this football fan research. However, the Fenerbah^e Pub is much more than a football place. During the day it functions as a cafe and at night concerts and parties are often hosted there. At weekends, in the afternoon and in the evening as well

The Fenerbahge Pub as for European Championships during weeknights it serves as a football pub

Fig. 3.1 The Fenerbahge Pub as for European Championships during weeknights it serves as a football pub. The social constructions of this place change at different times, and for each event different social and also emotional rules apply.

  • [1] Original: ‘praxeologische Konstruktion von Forschenden.’
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