Social Integration of People With a Migration Background in European Sports Clubs

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 University of Bern
  • 1 University of Southern Denmark
  • 3 Federal Office for Sport
  • 4 Ruhr University Bochum
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Policy makers often ascribe sports clubs an important societal role, as they can encourage the integration of people with a migration background. Questions then arise as to the extent that members with a migration background are integrated in sports clubs and what the factors are that play a role in this integration. The data for this research are drawn from a comparative study of 10 European countries. The analyses take a multidimensional approach to social integration and differentiate between the dimensions of understanding/acceptance, interaction, and identification. The results show that members with a migration background are relatively well integrated, but less so than other club members. There is a positive association between social integration and the volunteering, participation in competitions, long-term membership, and sports activities in teams.

Nagel is with the Institute of Sport Science, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Elmose-Østerlund is with the Centre for Sports, Health and Civil Society, Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. Adler Zwahlen is with the Special Department for Integration and Prevention, Federal Office for Sport, Magglingen, Switzerland. Schlesinger is with the Faculty of Sport Science, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Address author correspondence to Siegfried Nagel at siegfried.nagel@ispw.unibe.ch.
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