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World Cup France ‘98: metaphors, meanings and values

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hugh Dauncey, Dr Geoff Hare



The 1998 World Cup Finals focused the attention of the world on France. The cumulative television audience for the 64 matches was nearly 40 billion - the biggest ever audience for a single event. French political and economic decision-makers were very aware that for a month the eyes of the world were on France. On the night of 12 July, whether in Paris and other cities or in smaller communities all over France, there was an outpouring of joy and sentiment that was unprecedented — at least, most people agreed, since the Liberation of 1944. Huge numbers of people watched the final, whether at home on TV or in bars or in front of one of the giant screens erected in many large towns, and then poured onto the streets in spontaneous and good-humoured celebration. In Paris, hundreds of thousands gathered again on the Champs Elysées the next day to see the Cup paraded in an open-topped bus. For all, the victory was an unforgettable experience. An element commented on by many was the appropriation by the crowds of the red, white and blue national colours. For social commentators and intellectuals, the impact on the French nation was as remarkable as it was unexpected. Interpreting the impact on France of winning the World Cup reveals a complex interplay of sporting and cultural metaphors, meanings and values.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dauncey HD, Hare G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Review for the Sociology of Sport

Year: 2000

Volume: 35

Issue: 3

Pages: 331-347

Print publication date: 01/09/2000

Date deposited: 13/12/2007

ISSN (print): 1012-6902

ISSN (electronic): 1461-7218

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/101269000035003006


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