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Washington State University
College of Education

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Research Conversations

October 24, 2023 @ 12:10 pm - 1:00 pm

Alex Gang
Sport Fandom’s Contribution to Democracy: How Soccer Fans Socialize into Good Citizenship

Neoliberal ideologies are significantly shaping the landscape of modern professional sports. The trend towards commercialization appears inevitable for sports teams and their fan bases. Nevertheless, a growing movement advocates for collective ownership in soccer, championed by passionate fans committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity and prosocial values. Alex travelled to the city of Hamburg, Germany, seeking to understand the intricate associational structures of soccer fan clubs that drive their members towards enhanced civic engagement and good citizenship.

Alex Gang smiling in front of the ficus elastica in classy Cleveland Hall on a dark and dreary day on the Palouse, a byproduct of Hurricane Hilary coming up the coast line and pushing its way to the Inland Northwest.

Dr. Alex Gang is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at WSU’s College of Education. His research centers on identifying the prosocial outcomes of sports participation from the perspective of civic engagement. He aims to uncover sport’s potential to make positive contribution to democracy by analyzing the conditions and structures of sport organizations that facilitate broader civic participation among participants. His recent publications delve into the influence of soccer fan clubs in promoting good citizenship among their members and the positive social capital outcomes resulting from Olympic volunteerism. Alex’s greatest passion lies in soccer, a game that he has been involved in as a professional athlete, coach, and practitioner across Korea, Germany, and the United States.


October 24, 2023
12:10 pm - 1:00 pm
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Laura Girardeau