Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:How Can an Anti-Chief Fan Exist in a Pro-Chief World?
Author(s):Dangoy, Eric
Native American
Chief Illiniwek
Abstract:This project aims to contribute to the study of the diversity of U of I student culture by investigating how identity is manifested by anti-Chief student fans in a sport environment predominated by pro-Chief sentiment such as a campus bar, party, or sporting event. On the basis of participant observation and focus groups, the study shows that, due to rising strength of opposition to the Chief, the threat of doing away with the symbol, and efforts of capitalizing merchandisers, many have ingrained being a Chief supporter into their identities. Pro-chief identity has become so profuse that there is an overpowering amount of Chief sentiment, attire, and reference at home games, parties, and campus bars (especially during and after games). The author argues that, because the bond between the Chief and Illinois sports is essentialized and defended as a consequence of resistance against the anti-Chief movement, anti-Chief sports fans are symbolically excluded from the fullest participation in the rituals of Illinois sports. The project includes a proposal for continued research.
Issue Date:2005-05-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-09-21

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.
  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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