Influence of National Sport Team Identity on National Identity
Bogdanov, Dusko, 1975- (author)
James, Jeffrey D. (professor directing dissertation)
Knight, Gary A. (university representative)
Schwartz, Robert A. (committee member)
Mondello, Michael J. (committee member)
Department of Sport Management (degree granting department)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
The purpose of the research was to elaborate on the relationship between sport national team identity and national identity. The relationship has been documented anecdotally and in other areas of study, most notably in sport sociology (Bairner, 2001). There has been no research in sport management, however, addressing how national sport team identity may influence or contribute to the formation of national identity. One of the researcher's goals was to advance our understanding of group identities by examining the influence of national sport team identity on national identity. An additional goal was to assess the relative importance of national sport team identity in relation to regional and religious identities as a component of one's national identity. A supplemental outcome of the current research was to extend the GROUP* ID scale developed by Heere and James (2007) by measuring different group identities in international settings. The four group identities examined were: 1) 'national' team, 2) regional, 3) religious, and 4) national. The current study also included an examination of whether there were differences in the respective identities (team, national, regional, and religious) due to demographic characteristics (age, gender, education, and income). Finally, the current study included an examination of whether there were differences in indirect sport consumption (media and merchandise) based on demographic characteristics (age, gender, education, and income) among individuals that identified with a national sport team. Participants were selected from the countries of Serbia (n = 800) and Ireland (n =218). The Serbian sample was a random sample of participants from the country of Serbia. The Irish sample was a convenience online sample from residents in Ireland. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted on the two datasets to provide evidence of reliability and validity of the GROUP*ID scale. The samples were then reduced to reflect 'only' those individuals that chose to identify with the nations of Serbia (n = 691) and Ireland (n = 194). Multiple regression and One-Way ANOVA were used to analyze the data. The Serbian sample (n = 691) was composed of males (52%) and females (48%) and their average age was 43.71. The Irish sample (n = 194) was composed of males (57%) and females (43%) and their average age was 36.59. Descriptive results revealed that Serbians identified with the national soccer team the most (44%). The Irish identified with the national soccer team (37%) and rugby team (37%). The results from a series of multiple regressions revealed that the influence of national sport team identity on national identity was significant in both Serbia and Ireland. The proposed models explained 49% of variance in national identity in Serbia (n = 691), and 55% of variance of national identity in Ireland (n = 194). Further analysis revealed national sport team identity was not as important as regional and religious identity in assessing a Serbian's national identity. With the Irish sample, national sport team identity accounted for more variance than religious identity in Irish national identity, but not more than was accounted for by regional identity. Findings from the current research also included significant differences in team identity relative to gender, age, and education within the Serbian sample (n = 691). A significant difference was also found in national identity relative to gender in Serbia. There were no significant differences in national sport team or national identity within the Irish sample (n = 194). Other findings of the current research included significant differences on indirect sport consumption (media and merchandise) based on demographic characteristics amongst individuals that identified with a Serbian and Irish national sport team respectively. Based on the findings, key research and practical implications are presented.
sport, team identity, national identity
June 30, 2011.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sport Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Jeffrey D. James, Professor Directing Dissertation; Gary A. Knight, University Representative; Robert A. Schwartz, Committee Member; Michael J. Mondello, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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