Since the end of World War II, football in its institutionally organized forms has provided German citizens with a means of reconstructing national identity in a way that is considered politically “safe” in light of the country’s fascist past. As the sport and the culture surrounding it are normally viewed as an apolitical realm, the feedback effects from football on society have been under-researched and widely under-acknowledged, particularly in relation to discrimination in football and the repercussions it may have on society at large. This paper uses primary survey and sociological data, empirical data, a selection of secondary literature which make their own analyses of data-based research studies, primary media sources, and secondary media anaysis studies on the topics of the German national football team, the 2006, 2010, and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and the local leagues of the German Football Association (DFB), to investigate the impact of football on social cohesion, integration, and multiculturalism in twenty-first century Germany. Far from being a non-political entity, the research shows that football has had a significant effect on integration efforts and multiculturalism in Germany over the past two decades, and that it has largely been a negative one. However, it is also evident from some positive, uniquely unifying effects of football upon society, that with changes to regulation, social accountability, and media representation, the sport has the potential to positively impact German integration in the future.
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Sanders, Harriet R.
"Die Deutsche Elf: The German National Football Team and Multicultural Integration in the Twenty-First Century,"
Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union:
Vol. 2023, Article 14.
Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/urceu/vol2023/iss1/14