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Stacy Warner and Marlene A. Dixon

Sport programs are often charged with creating a sense of community (SOC), and it is thought that doing so will benefit participants on and off the field of play. Since SOC is specific to the setting (Hill, 1996) and most research has been conducted outside of sport, the literature has not yet fully demonstrated how and when SOC is created within a sport context. Utilizing a grounded theory and phenomenological approach, this study investigated the mechanisms for creating SOC within a sport setting. Twenty former US college athletes were interviewed regarding their sport experiences. The results revealed that Administrative Consideration, Leadership Opportunities, Equity in Administrative Decisions, Competition, and Social Spaces were the most salient factors that fostered SOC. The results contribute to community building theory, and provide practical solutions for enhancing the participant experience.

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Stacy Warner, Shannon Kerwin and Matthew Walker

As scholars conduct more research on the social benefits of community sport, the need for an instrument to measure sense of community is increasingly necessary. Utilizing previous grounded theory research specific to sport and community building, the purpose of this study was to test previous sport and sense of community theory through the creation and validation of a measurement scale to gauge sense of community. The authors tested a 21-item tool comprised of 6-subscales (i.e., Administrative Consideration, Common Interest, Competition, Equity in Administrative Decisions, Leadership, and Social Spaces) among samples of young sport participants using the three-phase method of item generation, confirmatory analyses, and concurrent validation. The resulting analyses yielded a valid and reliable instrument to measure sense of community in sport. This research suggests refinement to previous sport and sense of community theory and provides needed utility for this theory that has been grounded in the sport experience.

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Donna Goodwin, Keith Johnston, Paul Gustafson, Melanie Elliott, Robin Thurmeier and Heather Kuttai

This study explored the social experience of wheelchair rugby from the perspective of the players. Eleven national level rugby players (10 males, 1 female with a mean age of 33 years) shared their experiences through the phenomenological methods of semistructured focus group interviews and artifacts. Three themes emerged from the thematic analysis (a) it’s okay to be a quad, (b) don’t tell us we can’t, and (c) the power of wheelchair rugby. The athletes identified with a shared sense of community and the membership, fulfillment of need, influence, and shared emotional connections they used to authentically express themselves through their sport. The implications of the findings were interpreted within the theoretical context of psychological sense of community.

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Erik L. Lachance and Milena M. Parent

, satisfaction, motivation, commitment, and sense of community (e.g.,  Farrell, Johnston, & Twynam, 1998 ; Kerwin, Warner, Walker, & Stevens, 2015 ; MacLean & Hamm, 2007 ). Despite this large body of research, past studies have usually examined constructs individually or in relation with one or two more

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Sheranne Fairley and B. David Tyler

Sport fandom, particularly game attendance, offers an opportunity for social interaction. However, actual attendance at sport events is unrealistic for many individuals. In an attempt to foster a sense of community among such fans, sport marketers have begun to create additional consumption sites by televising live games in central locations, such as in a movie theater. This study examines the motives and experiences of fans who attend a cinema to view live baseball games. Data were collected through participant observation, a survey distributed to event attendees (n = 188), and focus groups. Results suggest that the sense of community and social environment created at the cinema were key factors in the viewing experience. The cinema provided individuals a collective viewing experience with likeminded fans, which helped create a stadium-like environment. This atmosphere, which affords the opportunity to focus on the game (compared with viewing at home or in pubs), allows fans to feel more connected to the team as they believe the cinema offers an authentic environment. Thus, providing sites for fans to view the game with likeminded fans outside of the stadium can be used as a means of creating social ties that could lead to increased fan loyalty. For some individuals, the cinema experience was preferred over that of the ballpark.

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Donna L. Goodwin, Lauren J. Lieberman, Keith Johnston and Jennifer Leo

The social meaning of a one-week residential summer sports camp to young people with visual impairments is described. The experiences of 13 youths (7 females and 6 males) with visual impairments (3 B1, 1 B2, and 9 B3) between 9 and 15 years of age were gathered using the phenomenological methods of focus groups, conversational interviews, and field notes. The thematic analysis revealed three themes: connected, reaching out, and resisting and acquiescing. Experiences of group membership and shared emotional connection to others with visual impairments surfaced in a supportive sport context although resistance to others’ assumptions of ability was evident. The theory of psychological sense of community (McMillan & Chivas, 1986) provided the conceptual framework for interpreting the findings.

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Lynn L. Ridinger, Kyungun R. Kim, Stacy Warner and Jacob K. Tingle

, & Dithurbide, 2012 ); involvement with officiating ( Ridinger, 2015 ); referee’s sense of community ( Kellett & Warner, 2011 ); organizational support ( Cuskelly & Hoye, 2013 ; Kim, 2016 ); gender equity ( Kim & Hong, 2016 ; Nordstrom, Warner, & Barnes, 2016 ; Schaeperkoetter, 2016 ; Tingle, Warner

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Marilyn Poole

The article explores the lived experiences of older women with a high commitment to exercise. The methods of investigation were in-depth interviews with 17 women fitness instructors for the over-50s and the author's observations as a participant in a variety of exercise programs. The subjective experience of embodiment of older women, the ways in which the body is constructed discursively, and the objective processes of aging are explored. The women's narratives are placed in the wider context of consumption, lifestyle, and identity construction. The study analyzes whether older women's commitment to exercise is a reflection of a climate of constraint, in which individuals seek to shape and manage the body lo combat the effects of aging, or is one of empowerment and enablement. More important, the article explores the ways in which the women used fitness programs as a means of constructing intimacy, a sense of community, and satisfaction in interpersonal relations.

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Kevin R. Filo, Daniel C. Funk and Danny O’Brien

Participatory sport events have emerged as viable fundraising mechanisms for charitable organizations. This article examines the impact that motives for charitable giving and sport event participation have on charity sport events. The authors examine the factors that attract participants to a charity sport event, while the role of charity in fostering attachment to the event is explored. Focus groups were conducted with charity sport event participants to discuss what motivated their participation. Results revealed that intellectual, social, and competency motives along with the motives of reciprocity, self-esteem, need to help others, and desire to improve the charity contribute to attraction. In addition, the results suggest that the charitable component influences social and competency motives and contributes to the development of attachment to the event. The authors recommend event managers work to foster and leverage the sense of community created through these events.