I’m now just over halfway through the first year of my program, so I’d like to take stock for a moment and see where I’m at and what I have left to do.
- My topic has changed from looking at the effects of stadium gentrification on local fan communities to the negotiation and performance of space between supporters (and others) at soccer matches.
- I’ve selected a study site: Liverpool – there’s a Merseyside derby on May 4, I plan on taking in 3 games total over the weekends 2 at Anfield and 1 at Goodison Park, although I may try to fit in a lower tier playoff if I get the chance (depends on teams and times).
- As a bonus, my last weekend will be in London so I can check out the fanzones for the UEFA Champions League Final. Should be an interesting counterpoint with it unlikely that the teams will be local (sorry Arsenal, I’d love it to happen, but not likely – and I’m wishing that ManU (not local but English) and Real could eliminate each other).
- I’m looking into ideas around affect, masculinity, and territoriality for a theoretical frame.
- Now I need to really start networking with local fan groups in England as possible interview subjects.
- I have to present my proposal to the department on Mar. 12 (Yikes!), and then get ethics approval before I leave.
- I should turn my accumulated soccer wisdom to betting so that I can fund this thing. (Joking – wife reads blog)
- Speaking of which, I should really thank a truly understanding and amazing woman who is going to let me traipse off to Europe to watch 22 men kick a ball around.
So I have a plan, but no tickets except the airline ones. If I can hold on for the next couple of weeks I can get through the toughest part of my courses, and then I can devote full time prep to this.