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‘There is nothing else to do!’: the impact of football-based sport for development programs in under-resourced areas

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The capacity of sport to contribute to broader social-inclusive and developmental outcomes is widely addressed in Sport for Development (SfD) literature. However, the hegemonic impact of football, the most-chosen activity in SfD programs, remains under-researched. We used the Capability Approach and Hegemony Theory as analytical lenses to explore the impact of football-based SfD programs on improving young people’s lives. In particular, we investigate two programs in under-resourced areas in Turkey. We interviewed various stakeholders (participants, coordinators, and participant’s parents), and conducted field visits and observations. Our findings highlight the contradictions of SfD programs, wherein challenges and opportunities are intertwined and do not appear to lead to clear, identifiable outcomes. While the activities embody some values that can lead to new opportunities, we argue that the dominance of football and the way it is used can have a neutralizing impact on the capabilities gained through SfD programs.
Journal: Sport in Society
ISSN: 1743-0437
Issue: 2
Volume: 25
Pages: 281-298
Publication year:2020
Keywords:capability approach, football, youth, development, hegemony
CSS-citation score:1