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For fans of pro soccer in Mexico City, the four most popular teams represent distinct identities that embody such attributes as political power, nationalism, and working-class values. One of these teams, the Pumas, is associated with youthfulness, and its equally youthful fans take pride in the fact that their heroes have not yet been corrupted by corporate or political interests. This ethnographic study examines Puma fans’ understanding of the ideal that the team represents, considers the practices they employ to express and sometimes contradict this ideal, and reveals how soccer fandom in contemporary Mexico has emerged as a nexus of tensions among competing visions of state and society.
Roger Magazine takes readers inside Mexico’s soccer stadiums to explore young men’s participation in struggles over the future of that country’s urban society. His firsthand observations of the fan clubs—las porras—yield a unique inside look at confrontations in the stands over group organization, particularly at the emergence of rebel segments within the clubs. His study offers a close-up look at ground-level struggles over social organization in contemporary urban Mexico, showing how young male fans both blindly reproduce and consciously manipulate images of violence and disorder derived from national myths about typical urban Mexican men.
Golden and Blue Like My Heart offers a new way of understanding the dynamics of fandom while shedding new light on larger social processes and youth culture in Mexico. And with its insight into soccer culture, politico-economic transition, and masculinity, it has important and wide-reaching implications for all of Latin America.