Olympic Studies Centre - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona ceoie@uab.cat +34 935 811 992  
Social networks and football: violence, audience participation and communication ecology

Social Networks and Football

Research project under the framework of the National Programme for R&D Aimed at the Challenges of Society, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, starting in January 2016 and ending in December 2018.

The project is directed by Emilio Fernández Peña and a research team consisting of Natividad Ramajo, Jesica Menendez and Jose Gila.

This work has two main objectives:

1. study the mechanisms of production and dissemination of violence in Spanish football through social networks and propose solutions for their control;
2. analyse the patterns of interaction with audiences in major football competitions and sports organizations overall.

The first part of the research will focus on Spanish football and will reveal the mechanisms of creation, management and dissemination of football hooliganism through social networks, which offer the possibility to the clubs and the public authorities of articulating mechanisms for control and eradication. At the same time, research will allow identifying what relationship exists between the violence around stadiums and violence which spreads through social networks and will help to meet the so-called ecology of violence in social networks, i.e. circuits dissemination between fans, players and clubs. The methodology for the study of violence combines quantitative and qualitative methods and a prior and posterior sampling of violent acts. In particular, it will monitor and analyse the management of social networking by players, Spanish first division clubs and their fans. The result of this work will be proposed to the clubs and sports authorities ways of managing these violent episodes.

The second part of the research will focus on the study of ways to manage networks in global football (organizations (FIFA and UEFA) competitions (Liga, UEFA Champions League, European Championship and World Cup) and Spanish first division clubs) and comparing the cultures of management between different organizations, clubs and competitions for models. For conducting this study, open source social network analysis tools designed for academic use will be used, such as Netvizz, Scraper Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube Capture and Analysis Toolset Data Tools.

The results of this project will be disseminated through the Global Sport & Social Media Observatory, an international platform for the dissemination of the methodologies, discussions and results of the work done by the team, which will enable collaboration with research groups internationally.

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