Frequent calls for sport for development (SFD) to be reoriented toward transformative social change reflect the extent that policies and programs have instead focused on individualized forms of personal development. However, SFD research has yet to substantially address fundamental ontological assumptions and underlying conceptualizations of transformative social change. To addresses this gap, this article considers how Margaret Archer’s Morphogenetic Approach can help explain how transformative social change might occur through SFD activities. Three conceptual contributions are brought into focus: (a) assuming a realist social ontology; (b) making distinctions between structure, culture, and agency; and (c) identifying social change as happening across three temporal phases. The authors conclude by identifying potential benefits and implications of applying the Morphogenetic Approach to consider the potential for SFD to contribute to social change.
Iain Lindsey and Jimmy O’Gorman
This paper examines the potential benefits of an alternative type of engagement with sport than is commonly considered in the literature on sport and international development. The research explored the extent to which students from one UK and two Ghanaian universities were empowered through working together to identify proposals for sports equipment in Ghana. A multimethod research design used video diaries and e-mail, text message, verbal and focus group interviews. The findings indicate a number of project design factors that constrained the empowerment of Ghanaian students. However, both Ghanaian and UK students were strongly motivated by, and developed new skills because of, the innovative nature of the project. Similar projects in the future can contribute further to the empowerment of young adults, if designed appropriately.