Birthday Football Game

Text: “For my birthday, my dad and I used to go to the first UT Austin football game of every season.”


Informant is a freshman at the University of Southern California studying mechanical engineering, originally from Austin, Texas from Chinese descent.

“My dad really likes UT football and my birthday always fell around the time of the first game of the year. I haven’t really heard other people doing this. I mean, I’m sure people did it, but I haven’t heard. It’s fun, I like it, it’s good time with my dad. When I go, I remember the previous years.”

Analysis: This is an example of the ritualization of individual life cycles. Ritualizing individual life cycle is a way in which we derive our identity and symbolize the identity we are trying to project. For the informant, this ritual integrates football, her hometown, and family as a part of her identity. The when is clearly defined as the ritual occurs at a scheduled time each year and commemorates a very specific event of her birth alongside her father who also symbolizes her birth somewhat.