Cohesiveness as Ideoculture: An Ethnography of a Soccer Team

By Bobi Ivanov, Kimberly A. Parker, Cheryl L. Nicholas and Todd L. Sandel.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study uses ethnography to explore how communicatively negotiated ideoculture influences membership and participation in a sporting community. Current precepts of sport and ethnographic research on sporting cultures lack a communication focus, in spite of the important role communication plays in making possible sport culture and ideoculture. This ethnographic research was based on an amateur university soccer club. Results indicate that an ideoculture around team cohesion was closely related to team notions about success and was discernible in behaviors associated with politeness and facework. Club members were expected to show appropriate displays of team cohesion. Such displays were often associated with how members tacitly allocated tiers of club membership and participation amongst each other.

Keywords: Ideoculture, Cohesiveness, Sport Culture, Ethnography, Politness, Facework

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.105-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 649.958KB).

Bobi Ivanov

Assistant Professor, School of Journalism & Telecommunications, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Bobi Ivanov’s research interests concern the influence of mass media communication, message processing, and resistance to influence, particularly the uses of inoculation. Ivanov has co-authored journal articles appearing in Communication Monographs, Communication Research, and Central Business Review. He has also co-authored two books. One of his co-authored articles in Communication Monographs has won the National Communication Association Communication and Social Cognition Division’s “Distinguished Article Award”.

Kimberly A. Parker

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Kimberly Parker’s research interest concern message processing, resistance to influence and adolescent romantic and sexual communication. Parker has co-authored journal articles appearing in Human Communication Research, Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Communication Quarterly, Communication Studies and Central Business Review. Parker has also co-authored two books.

Cheryl L. Nicholas

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Arts & Sciences, Penn State University-Berks, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Cheryl L. Nicholas is an Assistant Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State Berks. She is an ethnographer whose research interests focus on language and social reality in the Malaysian context. She is also interested in postcolonial and queer theory. Dr. Nicholas teaches classes in intercultural communication, message evaluation, research methods and communication theory. She has published articles in journals such as Sexuality and Culture, Communication Quarterly; Qualitative Research Reports in Communication; Storytelling, Self & Society; and edited work - Queer Identities/Political Realities and Interacting and Organizing: Analyses of a Management Meeting.

Todd L. Sandel

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Todd L. Sandel’s work has appeared in the following journals: Ethos, Western Journal of Communication, Language in Society, Parenting, Journal of Family communication, Social Development, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, and Journal of Contemporary China. Recipient of two top paper awards for the Language and Social Interaction Division of the National Communication Association and one top paper award for the International Communication Association. He was president of the Association for Chinese Communication Studies from 2006-2007, and received a two-year research grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation to study Mother Tongue Preservation in Taiwan and the US. Most recently he was a Senior Fulbright Scholar to Taiwan and affiliated with National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. For his Fulbright he studied the phenomenon of intercultural communication involving “cross-border” families whereby women from Southeast Asia and China have married Taiwanese men.


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