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Development, Gender and Sport: Theorizing a Feminist Practice of the Capabilities Approach in Sport for Development

Sarah Zipp, Tavis Smith, and Simon Darnell

Sport for development (SFD) research and practice has become more critically examined recently, with many scholars calling for better understanding of how and why sport might contribute to the global development movement. Developing and refining theoretical approaches is key to unpacking the complexities of SFD. Yet, theory development in SFD is still relatively young and often relies on oversimplified theory of change models. In this article, the authors propose a new theoretical approach, drawing upon the capabilities approach and critical feminist perspectives. The authors contend that the capabilities approach is effective in challenging neoliberal ideologies and examining a range of factors that influence people’s lived experiences. They have woven a “gender lens” across the capabilities approach framework, as feminist perspectives are often overlooked, subjugated, or misunderstood. The authors also provide an adaptable diagrammatic model to support researchers and practitioners in applying this framework in the SFD context.

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Becoming an Occupation? A Research Agenda Into the Professionalization of the Sport for Development and Peace Sector

Mitchell McSweeney, Rob Millington, Lyndsay M.C. Hayhurst, and Simon Darnell

Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) has transformed from what some termed a “social movement” to an institutionalized sector with numerous organizations and practitioners involved, resulting in trends that point toward SDP becoming a recognized category of work through professional training. The purpose of this paper is to utilize theories of professions and institutional isomorphism to advance the significance and importance of thinking about SDP as a profession. Three emerging trends that point to the professionalization of SDP are reviewed: (a) increasing opportunities to attain SDP certifications and training, (b) the growing number of SDP-specific academic degrees, and (c) the creation of a SDP knowledge base, particularly in relation to monitoring and evaluation. To conclude, theoretical and practical implications of the professionalization of SDP are discussed and a research agenda is outlined for future research on the continued institutionalization, and professionalization, of the SDP sector.