chapter  4
27 Pages

Crossing/Creating Boundaries

This chapter examines the operation and possibilities of social capital in and through sport. Building on the conceptualization of social capital in Chapter 1, it presents a detailed analysis of the extent to which, and the ways in which, the sports activities being studied contribute to or inhibit the development of bonding and bridging social capital. Particular attention is given to the role of social markers such as gender, class, race, ethnicity and place of residence in the accumulation, maintenance or diminution of social capital. It is shown that social relationships in the sports context can help cross or break down social boundaries and provide an important source of social support and social leverage. However, social capital is also boundary creating and maintaining, and it has the potential to reproduce or reinforce certain social divisions which may result in perceived social exclusion.