- Ajax isn't Ajax anymore: on power, rhetoric and identity
- Soccer and Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The rhetoric of identity refers to the arguments used when supporters perceive a discrepancy between what they consider the true nature (= identity) of their club and the policy measures of its board. Based on newspaper reports, this essay analyses three cases that sparked this rhetoric. These are: the influx of foreign players, the move to a new stadium and the introduction of a new general manager. It concludes that, in the first two cases, the rhetoric of identity simply served the self-gratification of the rhetoricians. In the last case, as the essay demonstrates, the rhetoric of identity affects a social unit if powerful actors unite behind the policies, which the rhetoric implies.
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