Fandom, Identity and Belonging
What drives people to invest so much time, emotion, energy, and money following a sports team, a rock band, or a celebrity? We'll explore the fan mindset.Listen 50:29
Super Bowl LVII is the event Eagles and Chiefs fans have been dreaming of, and it’s finally here. All the years spent cheering and crying and the hours watching the games on the couch or in the stands are about to pay off…or turn to heartbreak. Only one team will pull out a victory, and in the days that follow, the streets of Philadelphia will either turn into a sea of green or look cold and dreary without a celebration in sight.
Why do so many people get emotionally tied to a team and players they’ll likely never meet? And it’s not just professional sports – there are hardcore fans for rock bands, movie franchises, board games, celebrities and more.
We’ll look at the psychology of fandom, talk about the ups and downs of being a fan and the ways it becomes deeply intertwined with our identity.
LYNN ZUBERNIS, a Clinical Psychologist and Professor at West Chester University. She’s the author of four books on fan psychology.
ADAM EARNHEARDT, Professor of Communication at Youngstown State University, where he studies sports and fan behavior.
MARCUS HAYES, Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist
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