Will the World Cup change Brazil?


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Will the World Cup change Brazil? Hosting a World Cup and the birth of new national narratives

Periódico / Revista

Psicologia e Saber Social


n. 1




v. 3


p. 132-137



The article discusses the question why and how social psychologists should research the impact of having been the host of the World Cup for the Brazilian society. It will be argued that social psychologist should focus on changing national narratives, social representations and social imaginaries of being Brazilian. This approach should be related to research on collective action and collective emotions. Based on some qualitative projects conducted by the author in Germany and Brazil, the ambivalent character of modern national identity will be discussed. This ambivalence is grounded on different national narratives that are essential for the self-understanding of members from a nation. Hosting the World Cup has impacted on these fundamental narratives, already in anticipation of the event. Whereas expectations regarding the upcoming event were broadly skeptical and linked to fears, the experience of the event by itself included some positively attributed surprises. For some, the fearful view of “imagina na copa” turned into a proud “copa das copas” – though critics in regard to large spendings maintained. It can be assumed that having been the host of the World Cup, in the future will be embedded in national narratives and therefore will have impacts for Brazilian national identity.

Keywords: national identity; national narratives; collective pride; collective action; ambivalence.


KüHN, Thomas. Will the World Cup change Brazil? Hosting a World Cup and the birth of new national narratives. Psicologia e Saber Social. Rio de Janeiro, v. 3, n. 1, p. 132-137, 2014.
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