An Imagined Community in Sport: The San Antonio ‘Spurs Family’

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Imagined communities have been an influential force in history due to their potent ability to unite and divide people based on narratives centred around identity, allegiance, and pride powerful enough to produce a following and also sacrifice on the part of their devotees. Using the biographical method of prosopography, an interrogation of a historically influential imagined community in sport presented here as the ‘Spurs Family’ identifies the characteristics of this entity and explores ways in which this community has traditionally bonded. Local obituaries of the Spurs Family serve as a cultural and social mirror of the city of San Antonio and offer a window into how an allegiance to an imagined community of fandom in sport is sustained over time and highlights how significant female membership challenges traditional notions of sport spectatorship being male-dominated. A consideration of each of these constituencies is made within the broader context of the framing of imagined communities and concludes with reflections on the use of prosopographical data, together with suggestions as to how obituaries can be used by historians to begin to humanize the sports fan.




Galindo, D. (2020). An Imagined Community in Sport: The San Antonio ‘Spurs Family.’ International Journal of the History of Sport, 37(8), 670–691.

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