Collective emotions and the World Cup 2014: The relevance of theories and research on collective pride and shame

Gavin B. Sullivan

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    Brazil’s recent experiences in the semi-final of the 2014 World Cup show the potential for collective shame that is potentially, but rarely, realized as representative teams, fans and nations dream of international sporting successand positive international attention from mega-sporting events. Feelings of shock, deep disappointment and anger in Brazil are examined as manifestations of group-based and collective shame after the semi-final defeatfor the host nation’s supporters and humiliationof the national team. I explored “bottom up” mechanisms and other means by which collective shamearguably occurred due to high expectations and national narratives built around footballing success. The analysis includes the complex social and relational means by which Brazil’s representative team failed to “restore pride” by returning to previous minimal standards in the third-place playoff and the fortunatemanner further humiliation for Brazilians was avoided through the German team’s subsequent victory over Argentina in the final. The brief collective emotion analysis is completed with an examination of lessons that might be learned from Germany’s long process of transformation from collective shame after the Second World War to the eventual experience of a cosmopolitan national pride through football at the World Cup 2006 tournament and other subsequent international successes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112-117
    JournalPsicologia e Saber Social
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • collective shame
    • collective pride
    • group-based emotions
    • World Cup
    • mega-sporting events


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