Historical Social Research

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Kay Schiller: Siegen für Deutschland? Patriotism, Nationalism and the German National Football Team, 1954-2014 [Abstract]

This article discusses the relationship between expressions of patriotism, nationalism and national identity and the fortunes of the German national football team by examining developments from the 1950s until the present. It analyses the varying degrees of identification of the Germans with their national team from the wave of enthusiasm that greeted the 1954 World Cup win to the more sober reception the team received thereafter which climaxed in the ‘denationalization’ of the national team during the 1974 World Cup. It then explains the renationalization of discourses and practices associated with the team from the late 1980s onwards to end with a discussion of the ‘partyotism’ during the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups. The article argues that while the identification of the Germans with their national football team is a useful indicator of more general historical and cultural trends, one should not overestimate its relevance for determining the degree of nationalism in German society.

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