The Crowd in Flux: Atmosphere and the Governance of Public Affects at FC Union Berlin

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  • Max Jack

Exploring the role of atmosphere in the context of soccer fandom, I examine hard-core fans called "ultras" at Football Club Union Berlin. In response to the ultras' coordination of crowd performativity in the stadium, an assemblage of competing governing apparatuses has intervened with an interest in alleviating risk and potentially inflammatory dispositions of the fans. In contrast to the text-based rational-critical discourse idealized as characteristic of the public sphere (Warner 2002), I argue that atmosphere is an affective-discursive realm through which ultras negotiate subjectivity, which is perceived as deviant because it deconstructs individualism, interiority, and reason as assumed traits of liberal democratic citizenship.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)497-518
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2021

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