The effect of fanship and increased city identity on participation in the 1995 Save Our Browns protest is explored in this thesis. Using the J-curve hypothesis, Karp and Yoel's view of sport identification, and Blumer's classical movement strategies, hypotheses were determined that explain the experiences of residents in Cuyahoga County. These determinants of protest participation in an urban context were examined and measured through questionnaires distributed to a sample of Cleveland area residents. From the results provided by 116 participants, increased fanship proved to be significantly related to participation in the protests. Art Modell, owner of the Browns, is believed to be highly and solely responsible for the move of the Browns. Other relationships, including the effect of increased city identity on protest participation, were not conclusive due to small sample size or the timeliness of the research. Events that occurred since the protest may have altered the attitudes of Cleveland residents and altered the results. For future research, it is suggested that social scientists investigate protests quickly to minimize the intervening effect of other events on attitudes of the sample. For Cleveland, this study is only one part of a whole that must be completed to fully realize the impact of the franchise loss.


Blair, Robert


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1997 Brian A. Friedman