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"Here we are Catholics!”: Spirituality, Family and Hierarchy in a Soccer Fans Group in México
The idea of a nuclear family in Mexico has a strong foundation in the representation of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a national symbol that permanently connects the nuclear family, the politics and the religion. The data presented in this chapter were obtained from an ethnographic research conducted in a Mexican soccer fans group called La Perra Brava (The Fierce Dog) located in the city of Toluca. Fieldwork was conducted from August 2013 to April 2015. As it is a tradition in Mexico, this group organizes, with great devotion, the commemoration of the Virgin of Guadalupe on day 12th of December 12 each year. Besides, the image of this Virgin is found in tattoos, houses facades and even inside the office where the group is organized. The nuclear family in Mexico is often hierarchical: father (authority), mother (protection) and children (dependents). Likewise, this fans group is formed administratively by a President and a Vice-president who manifest that their function represents the father figure. The Secretary of the group assumes the maternal role: the hopes, feeding, protection and the emotional shelter of the family are pinned on the mothers as well as on the Virgin (supernatural mother). Young people act as the children´s group) in this hierarchy. In this case, sport is a strategy for a group of Mexican followers of a soccer team who regularly experience their spiritual connection with something greater than themselves. For them, this connection is as real as the family hierarchy with which they organize their community.