Skip to main content

Collective Emotions and the 2014 World Cup: Understanding Collective Shame and the Emotional Dynamics of Group-Related Failure




Dr. Thomas Kühn, University of Bremen

Project objectives

Brazil’s recent experiences in the semi-final of the 2014 World Cup and protests during the previous confederations cup show the potential for collective shame that is potentially, but rarely, realized as representative teams, fans and nations dream of international sporting success and positive international attention from mega-sporting events. Feelings of shock, deep disappointment and anger in Brazil are examined in this qualitative investigation of the experiences and manifestations of group-based and collective shame in up to 40 Brazilian participants after the semi-final defeat for the host nation’s supporters and humiliation of the national team.

Impact statement

The research project will:

  • Contribute to a greater and nuanced understanding of the experience of emotions experienced by individuals on behalf of their group and occurrences of collective emotions in communities within Brazil.
  • Identify sources of individual coping and collective resilience in response to a widespread negative national and international event
  • Explore the effects of collective emotions and dynamic strategic changes in international relational affiliations (e.g., between Brazil and Germany)
  • Provide detailed qualitative data about individual and collective emotions in response to the relatively rare failure of a host nation to perform to expectations in a mega-sport event
  • Contribute to discussions about the ways in which groups attempt to restore collective pride after group shame or humilation
  • Explore the potential political implications of the semi-final defeat that includes links to widespread dissatisfaction with the government and the protests in Brazil in 2013
  • Examine the impact of mega-sport events and the semi-final failure on the everyday lives of children and young people in Brazil
  • Highlight issues of identity and collective emotion (e.g., potential for national pride or further protests) in anticipation of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023