"We can make new history here": Rituals of producing history in Swedish football clubs

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This dissertation investigates how history is produced, what roles it plays, and what forms it takes in four Swedish football clubs – AIK, Djurgårdens IF, Helsingborgs IF and Malmö FF.
The overreaching aim is to describe and analyse how history is produced and performed in football clubs, and the implications this development has for football and for the understanding of history. The focus is on how history is produced and performed, played with, in a non-academic setting, a place where everything can be employed to help one’s club, where nothing is sacred, but much is accepted. A place where people can make history and become history on a weekly basis.
The ethnographic material used was collected through interviews, observations, shadowing, photos and netnography. The ethnography of history-making provides a glimpse of how individual stories fuel and are fed by collective memories that, through repetitive rites and rituals, produce narratives that push forward, in the never-ending quest for history.
The process of establishing memories is crucial for constructing a group identity. Analysing historical production reveals how an intersection of emotions, collective memory and engaged performance has an impact on individuals and on the clubs. In this perspective, football becomes a case study for research in similar environments that attract public attention and emotional responses. By analysing the complex processes through concepts of ritual, collective memory, narrative, myth, performance and materiality, this dissertation studies possible structures of historical productions.


Research areas and keywords


  • History, Football, AIK, Djurgårdens IF, Helsingborgs IF, Malmö FF, Collective memory, ritual, myth, Ethnology, narrativity, supporters, intertextuality
Original languageEnglish
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Place of PublicationLund University
Print ISBNs978-91-88899-02-6
Electronic ISBNs978-91-88899-03-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 18
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2018-11-16 Time: 10:15 Place: C126, LUX, Helgonavägen 3, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Svensson, Birgitta Title: professor Affiliation: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien ---

Total downloads

No data available

Related activities

Herd, K. (Interviewee)
2019 May 27

Activity: OtherMedia participation

Herd, K. (Interviewee)
2019 May 27

Activity: OtherMedia participation

View all (2)