The Reverse Socialization of Sport Fans: How Children Impact Their Parents’ Sport Fandom

in Journal of Sport Management
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While the sport fan literature suggests that it is common for parents to socialize their children to cheer for specific sports and teams, recent literature proposes that children can socialize their parents into changing the parents’ sport fandom in a process sociologists and consumer behavior researchers refer to as reverse socialization. To ascertain whether children can socialize and influence their parents’ sport fandom, 20 sport fan parents were interviewed. Evidence of reverse socialization was found in 15 of the participants, manifesting itself in ways that can be categorized as either developing new or additional fandom, or changing one’s behaviors or attitudes towards their existing fandom. However, further exploration of the data suggests that future research reexamine the term “reverse socialization,” as we do not see this as a directionality of influence, but as children as socializing agents.

Hyatt and Kerwin are with the Department of Sport Management, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Hoeber and Sveinson are with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Craig Hyatt at craig.hyatt@brocku.ca.
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