Home Institution

Miami University

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


This study seeks to explore how fans of the Dutch national football team, Oranje, engage with the portrayal of Dutch-Moroccan footballers who are navigating between the paradigms of “success story” and “problematic immigrant.” In the climate of the seemingly tolerant country of the Netherlands, we hypothesize that fans of Dutch football interpret and perpetuate the concept that minoritized men have to maintain a flawless performance based on conditions determined by the majority in order to ascertain a higher position in society. By employing Krippendorff’s theory of content analysis (Krippendorff, 2004), we explore the language used to describe three Dutch-Moroccan footballers (Sofyan Amrabat, Hakim Ziyech, and Mohamed Ihattaren) in two different types of sources: a) news articles on the Football Oranje website, and b) an international fan group for Oranje on Facebook. Results indicate support for three major themes that appeared in the literature: Othering, transnationality, and globalization, which indicated varying levels of “Dutchness.” The qualitative findings indicate that Dutch-Moroccan football players are considered successful Dutch citizens when they perform their role as a football player perfectly, enabling them to escape their minority group stereotypes. However, if they do not perform this flawlessly, they are immediately Othered as an outsider. Limitations and future directions of this research are discussed.


Dutch Studies | European Languages and Societies | Mass Communication | Migration Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social Media | Sports Studies


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