Critical left-realism and sport interventions in divided societies


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Sugden, John (2010) Critical left-realism and sport interventions in divided societies International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 45 (3). pp. 258-272. ISSN 1461-7218

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What, if any, is the value of sport to processes of peace and reconciliation? After introducing the largely rhetorical arguments for and against the value of using sport as a vehicle to promote peace building in divided societies, this article makes a more detailed and forensic examination of the evidence based on: the role played by sport in South Africa before and after apartheid; and second, drawing upon the author’s own experiences garnered over more than two decades of conducting research and leading sport-based intervention initiatives in Northern Ireland and Israel. The article argues that sport is intrinsically value neutral and under carefully managed circumstances it can make a positive if modest contribution to peace building. The mobilization of an engaged sociological imagination in the context of a broader human rights agenda is central to this contribution. Drawing upon notions of pragmatism, left realism and praxis, the article concludes by presenting a ‘ripple effect’ model that illustrates the circumstances under which sport can make a difference in the promotion of social justice and human rights in deeply divided societies.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical left-realism; divided societies; sport-for-development
Subjects: L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology
L000 Social Sciences > L900 Cultural Studies
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L311 Sport and Leisure
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1177/1012690210374525
Faculties: Faculty of Education and Sport > Chelsea School
Depositing User: Chelsea editor
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2010 10:10
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2015 13:13

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