The 2002 FIFA World Cup co-hosted by the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan was the first World Cup to be held in Asia. The author has conducted observation, interviews and studies of the impact of the event in both Korea and Japan. Fieldwork in Korea was carried out from the start of the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, the so-called World Cup 'rehearsal', onward. Interviews were held with committee members of the Korean World Cup Organising Committee, host city officials and board members of the 'Red Devils', the national team supporters' organisation. Field study was also conducted in stadiums and on the streets of Seoul, Taegu, and Incheon. After filming the fans in the stadiums and on the streets, interviews were conducted with selected supporters. The larger research project from which this chapter stems covers questions such as: How did host cities prepare for and organise the event? How did the citizens participate in and think about the preparations? And, have local communities changed as a consequence?
This chapter offers sociological reflections on two of the most significant manifestations of the Korean public's involvement in the 2002 Finals: public viewing and street cheering. My argument is divided into two parts. The first discusses the intersection of public space and football supporters' culture in Korea. As I will argue, to understand the body cultures of street supporters, it is necessary to examine the structures and practices of individuals that constitute these particular cultures. As structural factors, I will first discuss the content of street supporting; second, the transformation of the meaning and usage of space over time; and third, the differentiation strategy within the street supporters' body culture. Taking the practices of individual supporters into account, I apply Erving Goffman's dramaturgical approach to micro-sociological analysis in order to explore the dramatic street scenes in Korea during the World Cup. The second part will reflect on the significance of 'national flag fashion', or the variant usage of the national flag (taegeukgi), for different generations of Koreans. I analyse their respective frameworks of collective representations and the way memories of the past have been changed over the course of the 2002 World Cup. The chapter thus offers both an analysis of the external manifestation of Korean football