This thesis is an examination of Catalan nationalism and the use of F.C. Barcelona - Barça - in the expression of national sentiments.
My way of examining and analysing Football Club Barcelona in this thesis is as a 'dominant symbol' in Turner's terms (1964). By doing this I choose to understand Barça as a thing which generates models and narratives of ones own identity as well other identities 'by association in fact or thought' (Turner: 1964: 20).
I believe that my thesis provides the reader with some settings where national sentiments are articulated and pinpointed through the football-field. The analogous character between the discourses of football and national discourses and the way they both mirror the main Catalan narrative of the suppressed, stigmatised, yet surviving, modern and successful nation is partially the focus of this thesis. The natural use of the division between Catalan values and those belonging to Spaniards, though too general a category, and the way these ideas pervade the football field, show us how old antagonisms on which national images rest are reproduced as aspects of modern life. The repetitive character of football provides the national narrative with an emotional setting for the articulation of belonging, identity, and opposition towards ideas regarded un-Catalan, which all are located in history and not present day facts.
As mentioned above, the strength of Barça as a symbol rests on its performativity, the staging of repetitive emotional rituals that become national moments. Whether the different rituals of football are staged in Camp Nou, down town or when visiting the 'Black Madonna' at Mont Serrat, they are all 'designed' to awake national emotions.
In short this thesis has demonstrated how Barça functions as a ritual for the expression of values believed to be essentially Catalan. The way this works is by creating emotional Communitas through the ritual enactment of footballers, where they create bounds of familiarity between them, their organization and the mass-movement surrounding the club. The international football-sphere is however defined by what we can call principles of 'vulgar capitalism', and certainly not close relationships. By creating images of Gemeinschaft through the illusion of masculine imagery in the football sphere, Barça works as a vague, but yet precise enough symbol for identification for the Catalan citizens.