Contesting far flung fields: sociological studies of migration and acculturation through sport

Evans, Adam B. (2014) Contesting far flung fields: sociological studies of migration and acculturation through sport. In: Acculturation: psychology, processes and global perspectives. NOVA Science Publishers, New York, pp. 67-86. ISBN 9781633213470

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Contesting far flung fields: Sociological studies of migration and acculturation through sport

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Abstract

Sport remains one field in which the migration of people around the globe remains a significant phenomenon, both in terms of the movement of elite athletes, and the impact that sports participation can have on more general migrant and host communities. Research in the sociology of sport has focused on both the direction and intensity of elite player pathways and upon the experiential elements of participation in sport among various migrant groups. The experiences of both elite athletes and non-elite participants have been examined. Consequently it has become clear that intra- and international migration has created a significant intersection of sporting cultures between migrants and indigenous populations. Investigation of this cultural interplay has shed light on how migration trends influence the acculturation strategies and experiences of social agents in sport and beyond. This review will provide an overview of these studies in order to bring together several previously polarized approaches to understanding the influence of sport on acculturation and migration processes. First, the review will focus upon studies which have outlined how sports migration is distributed in complex configurations of geo-political core and periphery relationships. These relationships create an often contradictory landscape of enabling and constraining factors which can influence migration frequency and duration. It will also demonstrate how evidence suggests sports migrant pathways can be ephemeral, contested and contoured by wider trends in globalization processes. Second, the review describes how, against this background of globalization research, a number of studies have uncovered how the experiential elements of sports migration are key to understanding the meanings and stories attached to the migration process on a personal and group level. The review discusses how sport can reflect wider migrant experiences of acculturation and adaptation between and within the spaces they inhabit. These experiences are related to both how elite athletes experience traversing established ‘talent pipelines,’ and also how the sporting experiences of non-elite migrants are contoured by the socio-cultural relationships experienced in both host and donor countries. The review will outline how sport can act both as a unifying factor between communities and as a conduit through which spatial, ‘racial,’ ethnic and cultural barriers can be contested, re-imposed, resisted or transformed. The review concludes by outlining the present state of play in sports migration research, making suggestions for future research directions.

Additional Information:Chapter 6
Keywords:Migration, Sociology of Sport, Identity, Embodied Experiences, Acculturation
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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ID Code:14474
Deposited On:13 Jul 2014 20:42

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