The Amateur Football Players of Turkish Origin in Berlin and Reconstruction of their Professional Football Career Plans
Sociology University of Potsdam Berlin, Germany
This abstract includes a part of a qualitative PhD research project conducted in Berlin, which offers a phenomenological analysis of everyday life-world - alltägliche Lebenswelt of amateur football players of Turkish origin. Many qualitative and quantitative research were conducted -both at macro and micro level- to study the social impacts of migration. However, very few of them investigate into the future plans of the third generation of immigrants of Turkish origin.
Group discussion was used as the method for data collection in order to encourage the participants to tell more and to openly discuss their everyday football life with each other. This paper includes a hermeneutic interpretation of selected group discussions.
The collected empirical data show that most of the football players plan their professional football career in Turkey rather than in Germany. Professional football life in Germany is often represented as being more challenging than in Turkey. Additionally, a football career in Turkish leagues has been interpreted as an alternative career path to amateur players in Berlin. The participant group in this paper is composed of players who were born in Berlin and have played football there for a long time. Having been transferred to football clubs in Turkey at a certain age, they played football in Turkey for some time, but returned to Berlin mainly due to a lack of social integration. This paper analyses their problems which mostly originate from socialization differences between the players in Berlin and in Turkey. Additionally, the common perception of "Turkey as homeland" among third generation immigrants will be reconstructed as a social phenomenon that has undergone significant transitions compared to previous immigrant generations.