Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Communication, Technology, and Society

Advisor

Dr. Jimmy Sanderson

Committee Member

Dr. John Spinda

Committee Member

Dr. Darren Linvill

Abstract

Previous research has shown that the televised consumption of sporting mega-events, like the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, has significant cultivation effects on viewers. Past studies have also focused on fans' identification to their home nation during these international sporting competitions in terms of self-categorization. To measure relationships between identification to the U.S. Men's National Team with FIFA World Cup viewing and nationalistic attitudes, a total of 119 American participants were surveyed in the one-month period following the 2014 World Cup Final. Participants responded to 29 items based on a seven-point Likert scale pertaining to five measures: patriotism, nationalism, smugness, internationalism, and identification. The number of U.S. matches viewed was significantly correlated with identification, but not with patriotism, nationalism, or smugness. A multivariate linear regression revealed that 6 variables (age, amount of exposure to U.S. matches, patriotism, nationalism, smugness, and internationalism) were significant predictors of identification. In addition, amount of exposure to U.S. matches and patriotism were significant predictors of identification when controlling for all other variables. Theoretical extrapolations of cultivation effects and self-categorization are offered, as well as the limitation and directions for future research.

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