Narratives of Distance and Protest

In the previous subchapter orientalising practices were particularly important to understand the othering processes among Galatasaray and Fenerbah^e fans in Vienna. We have seen how for some interview partners, in the context and the time of the interview, fan objects served well to express their affiliations. In the following examples I will discuss how a fan object cannot arbitrarily be adapted to one’s own loyalty constructions. This subchapter focuses again on the narratives about the football clubs and this time also the national team but with regard to failures of representations and self-reflections.

Even if Galatasaray and Fenerbah^e fans narrate, produce and construct their fan loyalty and rivalry as an inflexible, rigid life-and-death issue, both remain situationally and contextually flexible. This means that in specific contexts, it can become crucial to distance oneself from the fan object, for example, because of the (new) hegemonic readings of its image as we will see in the case of Selin. Distancing oneself does not only happen in drastic cases. For many fans, it is part of regular and daily fandom practices and narratives to question one’s loyalty to the fan object and fandom in general (Sandvoss 2003, pp. 163-5). Especially for the ones that migrated to Vienna as adults or teenagers, the meaning they attribute to their football fandom sometimes changes. This case will be exemplarily discussed by the Galatasaray fan Sibel in this chapter. Here, the construction of a fan biography is retrospectively interpreted and narrated as a complex form of protest.

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