Shooting for Lithuania: Migration, National Identity and Men’s Basketball in the East of England

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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The accession of the ‘A8 states’ into the European Union initiated considerable migration into Western Europe. The impact upon local communities has seen significant attention, yet little research exists that focuses upon migrant experiences and identity specifically in sport. This study used a figurational framework to investigate the lived experiences of basketball among male Lithuanian migrants in the rural east of England. Semistructured interviews highlighted participants’ motivations to migrate, their acculturation experiences and the role that basketball played during their sojourn. Participants considered basketball a significant means for the expression of national identity and as a focus for their resistance to local racializing processes. Conversely, conflict with established local basketball communities and perceptions of marginalization among migrants were common, creating divisions in local basketball competitions.

Evans is with the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Piggott is with the School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds. UK.

Address author correspondence to Adam Evans at abe@nexs.ku.dk.
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