Colours and Scarves: An Ethnographic Account of Football Fans and their Paraphernalia

Christian Derbai, Alain Decrop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Why do fans buy and how do they consume football-related paraphernalia (shirts, jerseys, scarves, hats, flags, etc.)? Over the last five years, we have immersed ourselves in the football subculture of three European countries in order to understand the meanings given to items of merchandise. Emerging from data analysis and interpretation, we show that colours and scarves are connected with four major consumption functions, i.e., identification, socialisation, expression and sacralisation. The consumption of paraphernalia not only supports the creation and expression of private and collective identities, it also helps fans to transcend their existence. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-291
Number of pages21
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Fandom
  • Interpretive research
  • Merchandising
  • Spectator behaviour
  • Sport consumption


Dive into the research topics of 'Colours and Scarves: An Ethnographic Account of Football Fans and their Paraphernalia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this