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Narratives of success and portraits of misery: Football, national identities, and economic crisis in Spain (2008–2012)

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alejandro Quiroga


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This article explores the propagation of national narratives through football in both the Spanish and the European media in the period 2008–2012. The Spanish national team's victories in the 2008 and 2012 Euros and the 2010 World Cup resulted in the consolidation of a domestic “narrative of success” that depicted Spain as a flourishing, modern European country. Yet as the economic crisis increased, Spanish governments, mass media, and corporations promoted this narrative of success as a “compensation mechanism,” aiming at making up for the country's dire financial situation. In the European media, the initially benign portrait of Spaniards was gradually transformed into a new representation that depicted Iberians as slackers and scroungers of European Union funds. The article shows the re-emergence of derogatory stereotypes as a manner of making Spaniards scapegoats for the economic crisis, while reinforcing nationalist narratives among Europeans.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Quiroga A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Romance Quarterly

Year: 2017

Volume: 64

Issue: 3

Pages: 126-134

Online publication date: 05/06/2017

Acceptance date: 03/11/2016

ISSN (print): 0883-1157

ISSN (electronic): 1940-3216

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/08831157.2017.1321342


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