Sport as a Means of Governing Social Integration: Discourses on Bridging and Bonding Social Relations

in Sociology of Sport Journal
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $64.00

1 year subscription

USD  $85.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $121.00

2 year subscription

USD  $158.00

This article analyzes how representatives of two sports-based interventions in Sweden conceptualize the ways in which different forms of social relations facilitate social inclusion and integration. The articulated statements are analyzed from a discursive and governmentality perspective. The analysis spotlights how sports practices ideally provide inclusive and bridging meetings between schools and children from different areas, and how bonding relations with formative role-models make it possible to reach out to young people in the community and to facilitate learning, guidance and social change according to certain norms. However, bonding relations between children from the same area are not spotlighted in discourse. This, and other discursive effects, are problematized with respect to how such discourse restrains and limits the conditions for the social inclusion and integration of the targeted youth.

Ekholm is with the Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture (ISAK), Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.

Address author correspondence to David Ekholm at david.ekholm@liu.se.
  • Ålund, A., & Schierup, C-U. (1991). Paradoxes of multiculturalism: Essays on Swedish society. Aldershot, UK: Avebury.

  • Andersson, R. (2013). Reproducing and reshaping ethnic residential segregation in Stockholm. Geografiska Annaler, Series B. Human Geography, 95(2), 163–187. doi:10.1111/geob.12015

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Auld, C. (2008). Voluntary sport clubs: The potential forthe development of social capital. In M. Nicholson & R. Hoye (Eds.), Sport and social capital (pp. 143–164). London, UK: Elsevier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bacchi, C. (2009). Analysing policy: What’s the problem represented to be? Frenchs Forest: Pearson.

  • Bailey, R. (2005). Evaluating the relationship between physical education, sport and social inclusion. Educational Review, 57(1), 71–90. doi:10.1080/0013191042000274196

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blackshaw, T., & Long, J. (2005). What’s the big idea? A critical exploration of the concept of social capital and its incorporation into leisure policy discourse. Leisure Studies, 24(3), 239–258. doi:10.1080/0261436052000327285

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coakley, J. (2011). Youth sports: What counts as “positive development?” Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 35(3), 306–324. doi:10.1177/0193723511417311

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coalter, F. (2007). Sport clubs, social capital and social regeneration: “ill-defined interventions with hard to follow outcomes”? Sport in Society, 10(4), 537–559. doi:10.1080/17430430701388723

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Collins, M., & Haudenhuyse, R.P. (2015). Social exclusion and austerity policies in England: The role of sports in a new area of social polarisation and inequality? Social Inclusion, 3(3), 5–18. doi:10.17645/si.v3i3.54

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cuskelly, G. (2008). Volunteering in community sport organizations: Implications for social capital. In M. Nicholson & R. Hoye (Eds.), Sport and social capital (pp. 187–206). London, UK: Elsevier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dahlstedt, M. (2009). Aktiveringens politik. Malmö, Sweden: Liber.

  • Dahlstedt, M., & Ekholm, D. (2019). Social exclusion and multiethnic suburbs in Sweden. In B. Hanlon & T.J. Vicino (Eds.), The Routledge companion to the suburbs (pp. 163–172). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dahlstedt, M., & Eliassi, B. (2018). Slaget om hemmet: Värden, utanförskapanden och förorten som folkhemmets periferi. Sociologisk forskning, 55(2–3), 203–223.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dahlstedt, M., & Neergaard, A. (2016). Crisis of solidarity? Changing welfare and migration regimes in Sweden. Critical Sociology, 45(1), 121–135. doi:10.1177/0896920516675204

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dean, M. (2010). Governmentality. London, UK: Sage.

  • Ekholm, D. (2013). Research on sport as a means of crime prevention in a Swedish welfare context. A literature review. Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum, 4, 91–120.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ekholm, D., & Dahlstedt, M. (2017). Football for inclusion: Examining the pedagogic rationalities and the technologies of solidarity of a sports-based intervention in Sweden. Social Inclusion, 5(2), 232–240. doi:10.17645/si.v5i2.839

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ekholm, D., & Dahlstedt, M. (2018). Forming the association-like organisation: On civil society, welfare provision and sport as a means of social inclusion. Journal of the Sociology of Leisure. doi:10.1007/s41978-018-0019-5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elmose-Østerlund, K., & van der Roest, J.-W. (2017). Understanding social capital in sports clubs: Participation, duration and social trust. European Journal for Sport and Society, 14(4), 366–386. doi:10.1080/16138171.2017.1378479

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foucault, M. (1971). Orders of discourse. Social Science Information, 10(2), 7–30. doi:10.1177/053901847101000201

  • Foucault, M. (1980). Truth and power. In C. Gordon (Ed.), Power/knowledge (pp. 109–133). Harlow, UK: Harvester Press Limited.

  • Foucault, M. (1982). The subject and power. Critical Inquiry, 8(4), 777–795. doi:10.1086/448181

  • Foucault, M. (2010). The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–79. New York, NY: Picador.

  • Fundberg, J. (2017). Idrottsrörelsen och samhällsnyttan– fokus på etnisk mångfald och integration. In J. Faskunger & P. Sjöblom (Eds.) Idrottens samhällsnytta (118–130). Stockholm, Sweden: Riksidrottsförbundet.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harvey, J., Lévesque, M., & Donnelly, P. (2007). Sport volunteerism and social capital. Sociology of Sport Journal, 24(2), 206–223. doi:10.1123/ssj.24.2.206

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hoye, R., Nicholson, M., & Brown, K. (2015). Involvement in sport and social connectedness. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 50(1), 3–21. doi:10.1177/1012690212466076

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Janssens, J., & Verweel, P. (2014). The significance of sports clubs within multicultural society. European Journal for Sport and Society, 11(1), 35–58. doi:10.1080/16138171.2014.11687932

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morgan, H. (2013). Sport volunteering, active citizenship and social capital enhancement: What role in ‘Big Society’? International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 5(3), 381–395. doi:10.1080/19406940.2013.764542

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nicholson, M., & Hoye, R. (2008). Sport and social capital: An introduction. In M. Nicholson & R. Hoye (Eds.), Sport and social capital (pp. 1–20). London, UK: Elsevier.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Philp, M. (1979). Notes on the form of knowledge in social work. The Sociological Review, 27(1), 83–111. doi:10.1111/j.1467-954X.1979.tb00326.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Putnam, R.D. (1993). Making democracy work. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Putnam, R.D. (2000). Bowling alone. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

  • Richardson, J.B., Jr., (2012). Beyond the playing field: Coaches as social capital for inner-city adolescent African-American males. Journal of African American Studies, 16(2), 171–194. doi:10.1007/s12111-012-9210-9

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rose, N. (1999). Powers of freedom: Reframing political thought. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Rosso, E.G.F., & McGrath, R. (2013). Beyond recreation: Personal social networks and social capital in the transition of young players from recreational football to formal football clubs. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 48(4), 453–470. doi:10.1177/1012690212444409

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schierup, C.-U. (2010). “Diversity” and social exclusion in third way Sweden. The “Swedish Model” in transition, 1975–2005. TheMES. Themes on Migration and Ethnic Studies, 35, 1–46.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schierup, C.-U., Ålund, A., & Neergaard, A. (2017). Reimagineering the nation: Crisis and social transformation in 21st century Sweden. An introduction. In A. Ålund, C.-U. Schierup, & A. Neergard (Eds.) Reimagineering the nation: Essays on twenty-first-century Sweden (pp. 9–37). Frankfurt, Germany: Peter Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seippel, Ø. (2006). Sport and social capital. Acta Sociologica, 49(2), 169–183. doi:10.1177/0001699306064771

  • Sernhede, O. (2011). School, youth culture and territorial stigmatization in Swedish metropolitan Districts. Young, 19(2), 159–180. doi:10.1177/110330881001900203

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spaaij, R. (2012). Building social and cultural capital among young people in disadvantaged communities. Sport, Education and Society, 17(1), 77–95. doi:10.1080/13573322.2011.607913

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spracklen, K., Long, J., & Hylton, K. (2015). Leisure opportunities and new migrant communities: Challenging the contribution of sport. Leisure Studies, 34(1), 114–129. doi:10.1080/02614367.2014.939989

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Theebom, M., Schaillée, H., & Nols, Z. (2012). Social capital development among ethnic minorities in mixed and separate sport clubs. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 4(1), 1–21. doi:10.1080/19406940.2011.627359

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vandermeerschen, H., van Regenmortel, T., & Scheerder, J. (2017). “There are alternatives, but your social life is curtailed”: Poverty and sports participation from an insider perspective. Social Indicators Research, 133(1), 119–138. doi:10.1007/s11205-016-1360-z

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Verhagen, S., & Boonstra, N. (2014). Bridging social capital through sports. Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice, 23(4), 23–38. doi:10.18352/jsi.423

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vermeulen, J., & Verweel, P. (2009). Participation in sport: Bonding and bridging as identity work. Sport in Society, 12(9), 1206–1219. doi:10.1080/17430430903137886

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Villadsen, K. (2008). Doing without state and civil society as universals: “Dispositifs” of care beyond the classic sector divide. Journal of Civil Society, 4(3), 171–191. doi:10.1080/17448680802559768

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Walseth, K. (2008). Bridging and bonding social capital in sport: Experiences of young women with immigrant background. Sport, Education and Society, 13(1), 1–17. doi:10.1080/13573320701780498

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Walseth, K. (2016). Sport within Muslim organizations in Norway: Ethnic segregated activities as arena for integration. Leisure Studies, 35(1), 78–99. doi:10.1080/02614367.2015.1055293

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Widdop, P., Cutts, D., & Jarvie, G. (2016). Omnivorousness in sport: The importance of social capital and networks. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 51(5), 596–616. doi:10.1177/1012690214541101

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 349 349 20
Full Text Views 75 75 4
PDF Downloads 42 42 2