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The Invention of the Beautiful GameFootball and the Making of Modern Brazil$
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Gregg Bocketti

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062556

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062556.001.0001

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Respectability, Emotion, and Gender in Brazilian Spectatorship

Respectability, Emotion, and Gender in Brazilian Spectatorship

4 Respectability, Emotion, and Gender in Brazilian Spectatorship
The Invention of the Beautiful Game

Gregg Bocketti

University Press of Florida

This chapter examines the role that fans played in the history of Brazilian football, focusing on the wealthy white women (torcedoras) who well-to-do sportsmen depicted to be the ideal Brazilian spectators. The sportsmen believed reservation was the key to respectability, but middle-class and wealthy women exploited the space opened up by football spectatorship and challenged this belief. Many female fans were passionate about the game, and they crafted a model of respectability which allowed for emotion. Reformers seized on the idea of fans’ passion, and argued that it was a distinctive feature of Brazilian spectatorship. But they also joined the Getúlio Vargas regime in objecting to women’s participation in football in the 1930s and 1940s. The decline of the torcedoras indicates the limits of Brazilians’ challenges to traditional gender norms in the early twentieth century, and the nature of the reassertion of tradition during the Vargas years.

Keywords:   gender, spectatorship, emotion, torcedoras

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