In research an important topic to consider is if the correct method has been chosen to collect data. The method chosen in this research in collecting the data was in the form of questionnaires. In the survey questionnaire participants were given a statement or a question with a list of four responses and told to circle the one that most closely resembled them. There was also a couple of yes no questions for closed questions which would only get a yes or no response. There were 15 participants who took part in this research with an even split of male and female participants. There ages varied and was not a key feature in deciding who the participants were.
The participants chosen were chosen from a local Southend United football ground. The questionnaires were filled out before the game started so that the game’s result was not an influence in the data received. Questionnaires were chosen as the instrument for gathering the data because this data was going to be analysed from a quantitative method. This was chosen because the data could be empirically studied as opposed to a quantitative that couldn’t.
Also another reason a quantitative approach was taken was simply because of time. I had to obtain this data from the football ground before the match started and interviews or other forms of qualitative would have ruined the participant’s plans. As well as time issues a quantitative was more viable from an ethical standpoint. This was anonymous research with the participants only giving their age and gender. A quantitative method limited the amount of researcher bias which could have affected the results of the study. Also all clients were informed about the right to withdraw from the study at any point during the study. Informed consent was also obtained prior to the participants beginning research.
Twelve questions were asked all together here is a breakdown of the results and what they meant This result shows there is a vast amount of loyal and die-hard fans of their chosen club. The majority of participants when questioned were either die-hard supporters or loyal supporters with only 2 saying that they only go to games occasionally. This could be because they associate their group and in doing so their own self-concept with the club they support. It could also be a result of boosting up their loyalty before a game and thus raising the status of the group and in doing so boosting their self-esteem.
With this result it is more balanced that the one before it but still the majority of people questioned would attend whenever possible with the next ones questioned would attend every game. This result shows a clear difference between those who see themselves as part of a group to those who do not. This could be due to the fact that the majority of them have categorised themselves and the group of fans
This result shows that the majority of supporters questioned own both the home kit and the away kit. The next majority own at least home strip with only one asked who didn’t own a Southend United shirt. This could be a result of the fact that as part of the group they need to follow the group norms and wearing shirt is a norm for football fans This result shows that the majority of participants questioned wear the shirt at games. This again could be the result of norms of the group and to be accepted and be a part of the group identity you need to may need to wear similar clothing it’s almost like a uniform in that it distinguishes people who are part of the group from those that are not.
This shows that a very large of the participants questioned mimic actions done by other members of the group. This could be part of self-identification. This is where an individual adopts the value’s beliefs and the behaviours of the group that they have that they categorise themselves with. So in order to be accepted amongst the group they must behave similarly to them. This again shows that they behave differently when they are at the stadium as opposed to when they are not. This could be because when they have a group identity they gain self- esteem and are comfortable to do thing like that. It could also be that they are adopting the behaviour of the group and in doing so adopt and mimic the culture.
This result shows that at least some values and beliefs and shared amongst the group of fans. Many may be unaware of the values and beliefs of others. But this result at least shows that the participants are at least partly aware of the similarities they share. The participants did not like the fans in the other group this could be because of the third part of social comparison when members of a particular group compare and are in constant competition. Also if group gain status by devaluing other groups that will make confrontation
This next question far more closely than the others two of the questions both scored the same marks and the other one was not far off. The participants were tied on thinking that there are superior and sometimes thinking they are. This could be a result of constant competition and rivalry between groups for example football team rivalries. It could also be a result of the fact that according to social identity theory groups are constantly put each other down so this feeling could result from here.
This shows that the majority have been in arguments with other groups while defending their own team. This could be because they believed that an attack against their team was attacking the group and thus attacking their group identity. Also the other groups don’t share the same beliefs values etc. that their group does so there would be more chance of an argument or fight. This result shows that although they are part of the group they are not comfortable arguing or ever criticising the group. This could be due to fear of rejection from the group
So to conclude this research report aim was to find out what similarities do group identity and behaviour have in common with football fans and the answer is much. Social identity theory covers and explains each of the questions asked in this research it can also be used to answer most questions in relation to football fans and this data shows there if a group identity within the football fans surveyed.
Hayes,N Orrell, S(1998) Psychology an Introduction Harlow, Longman Group Limited