Over 50s Lifestyle

The Matildas Game was the perfect example of Collective Effervescence

August 16, 2023
Matildas win

What were you doing on Saturday, 12th August, 2023 at 5pm? If you were like me, you were glued to the television to watch sporting history being made by The Matildas in their match against France in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. I’ve only really become interested in Soccer since my grandson started playing this year. He is a fanatic and I am now well schooled in both the Men’s and Women’s international teams.

I was watching The Drum, a current affairs program in Australia and like everyone else in Australia, one of the topics of conversation was the fantastic win by the Matildas against France in the Quarter Finals match.

The game was intense with both sides having chances but it isn’t easy getting that ball into the net! After extra time and a penalty shootout, Matildas won by a single goal. France would have been devastated as they were a worthy opponent for Australia. However, there can only be one winner and the Matildas made history by being the first Australian Women’s Soccer team to advance to the final 4.

The Game was the perfect example of Collective Effervescence – we exploded with celebration, we had happy tears, we felt utter joy as one with the Team.

We were texting each other, posting on social media – we as a nation were one. Families came together to watch, I was messaging my grandsons who were staying up late to watch the game. It was such a wonderful feeling and one I wanted to bottle for times when I’m not feeling so good. Relive the hightlights and nail-biting finish.

The conversation on The Drum, was like most of us – we relived the game, the excitement, the intensity, the heart-stopping moments as both sides vied for victory. Days later we are still talking about it and Women’s Sport has certainly been given a boost. Who said Women’s Sport doesn’t get the following – about 4.7million tuned in, the stadium was a sell-out and around Australia giant screens were set up for people to enjoy the game. (If you like stats you can read more here https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-13/matildas-vs-france-most-watched-television-event-of-2023/102724272

It was certainly a Sparkling experience and I’m so pleased I was part of the collective watching the game from my lounge room.

Last week I wrote about Bringing ‘Sparkle’ into life and why a ‘Sparkle’ book helps and also Why we lose our Sparkle and how to get it back. Well the game certainly brought my sparkle back!

So back to The Drum…… Collective Effervescence as mentioned and discussed.

What is Collective Effervescence?

I did some research and discovered:

Collective Effervescence refers to a sociological concept that describes the heightened emotional and social energy experienced by a group of individuals when they come together and share a collective experience or participate in a communal activity. It is characterized by a sense of unity, solidarity, and excitement that arises from the shared engagement and interaction among group members.

This concept was originally introduced by the sociologist Émile Durkheim, in the early 20th Centuary, who argued that collective rituals and gatherings, such as religious ceremonies or sporting events, can generate a collective effervescence that strengthens social bonds and fosters a sense of belonging within the group.

In essence, collective effervescence is the euphoric feeling that arises when individuals experience a sense of connection and belonging as they collectively engage in a shared activity or experience.

It can be seen as a powerful force that brings people together, fosters a sense of solidarity, and creates a memorable and impactful collective experience.

In a world of war, poverty, rising interest rates, climate change to name a few problems we face, it is vital that we join together for moments of joy and gratitude.

Why we need Collective Effervescence

Collective Effervescence can have several benefits:

  1. Sense of Belonging: When individuals come together and experience collective effervescence, they feel a sense of unity and connection with others. It creates a feeling of belonging and strengthens social bonds within the group.
  2. Elevated Emotions: The heightened emotional energy experienced during collective effervescence can be exhilarating and uplifting. It can lead to feelings of joy, excitement, and enthusiasm, enhancing the overall experience and creating lasting positive memories.
  3. Enhanced Social Interaction: Engaging in communal activities and sharing collective experiences provides opportunities for increased social interaction. It encourages communication, cooperation, and collaboration among group members, fostering stronger relationships and social cohesion.
  4. Strengthened Group Identity: Collective effervescence contributes to a sense of shared identity and reinforces group cohesion. It can strengthen the collective values, beliefs, and goals of the group, fostering a sense of unity and common purpose.
  5. Positive Impact on Well-being: The sense of connection and belongingness can alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation, promoting mental and emotional well-being.
  6. Community Building: It brings people together, encourages social engagement, and can foster a spirit of support and solidarity among larger networks of individuals.

Collective effervescence has the potential to create powerful and transformative experiences, reinforcing social bonds, and enriching the lives of those who participate in collective activities or shared experiences.

Have you heard of Collective Effervescence? I hadn’t but I’ve experienced it without even knowing!

Go the Matildas and whether they win or lose they have done Australia proud and brought the nation together in a positive and joyful way.

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Retirement Reflections August 16, 2023 at 06:22

    Hi, Sue – I hadn’t heard of Collective Effervescence but it makes much sense.
    Congratulations on this win. Totally awesome!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 16, 2023 at 08:21

      Hi Donna, I hadn’t heard of Collective Effervescence either but it is so apt especially at the moment when the Nation is right behind the Matildas. x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2023 at 11:36

      I loved the term, Donna especially as last week’s theme was related to Sparkle. It fit perfectly. The Matildas did so well and despite losing to England they did Australia proud. x

  • Reply KymPossible August 16, 2023 at 13:13

    I’ve never heard that term but I have experienced it, I guess! I lived in Calgary during the 1988 Olympics and there was a LOT of collective effervescence there! Very interesting post – and congrats to the Matildas!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2023 at 11:38

      I had never heard of the term either Kym but I’m sure we all have examples of when we have experienced it. The Olympics is certainly a great example of when Collective Effervescence shines through. x

  • Reply leannelc August 16, 2023 at 16:26

    Hi Sue – so glad you could experience that collective effervescence – it certainly heightens experiences when you share them with other like-minded souls. I’m not particularly sporty and now that our sports minded son isn’t in the house, games like this tend to be enjoyed in hindsight. It’ll be interesting to see if they beat the English team tonight.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2023 at 11:39

      It was a fantastic game, Leanne and so wonderful to see everyone getting behind the team and they didn’t disappoint. x

  • Reply Debbie August 16, 2023 at 17:11

    Hi Sue, this is a great concept that I’d not heard of before! As a family we were all messaging each other throughout the Matilda’s game and loved that despite being all over the country and the UK we could be in touch watching the same game at the same time. Dottie was so excited when she saw it was on our TV at the same time as hers! Thanks for introducing this to us and GO THE MATILDAS!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2023 at 11:40

      I was messaging family and friends during the game, Deb as I think many others were. Such a wonderful game and I’m so pleased I made the effort to watch it LIVE. x

  • Reply Toni Pike August 16, 2023 at 17:49

    Fascinating, Sue – I love that expression, I hadn’t heard it before but you described it beautifully. And that was the perfect example. Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2023 at 11:40

      It is a great concept, isn’t it Toni? I hadn’t heard the term before but it is something we have all experienced.

  • Reply marsha57 August 18, 2023 at 10:21

    I have never heard of this before, but I think it’s quite similar to what happened here in the States after 9/11. That wasn’t a celebratory experience, but it definitely created a sense of belonging and unity. Thanks for sharing this.


    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2023 at 11:48

      Yes, I hadn’t heard of the term either, Marsha however, when we think about it there are many examples that we can think of where Collective Effervescence was in play. Also as you say the opposite is true when we all come together after tragedy. Hope you are feeling better x

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