The Team with No Left Wingers. on the Roots of Right Wing Political Orientation Among Polish Fandom.

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 08:48
Oral Presentation
Wojciech WOZNIAK, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, Poland
Radoslaw KOSSAKOWSKI, University of Gdansk, Poland
Przemyslaw NOSAL, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland
The data collected by Kossakowski (2016) in the largest survey of Polish football fans confirms that their political attitudes are skewed towards the far right. One quarter of 888 respondents declared no political preferences while more than half supports three radical anti-establishment parties. Law and Justice, ruling right-wing party is supported by 5,56 percent while four left-wing parties gained three percent. Anti-establishment attitudes are accompanied with the growth of nationalist ideology at the terraces, what is very much in line with memory politics as developed by current right-wing government of Poland.

The paper is an attempt to discuss several non mutually-exclusive explanations of the phenomenon:

  1. Contrary to the resurgence of right-wing attitudes at the football stands in other European countries, situation in Poland remains stable as the right-wing orientation of the fandom lasts for a long time.
  2. It is a good predictor predictor of tendencies in the national politics: demise of left-wing parties and conservative turn among young generation confirmed by voting behaviours.
  3. Aforementioned single-mindedness stems from the shape of political scene and the discourse prevalent throughout transition period. The long shadow of communism over the public discourse impacted political debate and other social fields (e.g. economic/academic ones).
  4. The radicalization of right-wing parties, particularly anti-migrant rhetoric gave a new momentum to chauvinism and xenophobia refuelling nationalism and right-wing extremism in Poland. This can be partially explained by the ethnic/religious composition of the most homogenous society in Europe. Nevertheless, relatively well organized Polish fandom remains independent from the interferences of institutionalized politics. To the contrary, they sometimes form surprising political alliances to get influence on local decision-making processes.

The empirical basis of the paper is quantitative and qualitative data on football fandom in Poland gathered within several ongoing research projects which are conducted by the authors.