Sport and social capital: An introduction
DOI link for Sport and social capital: An introduction
Sport and social capital: An introduction book
Sport and social capital is a result of this proposition and others like it that suggestively position sport as an institution capable of creating substantial social capital. Even a cursory examination of public discourses that relate to sport and leisure reveals that politicians, academics, sport administrators, policymakers, journalists, athletes and commentators are convinced the idea that sport is a vehicle for the creation, development and maintenance of social capital is, at the very least, intuitively correct. We have deliberately used the word ‘ intuitively ’ here, as a way of signalling that these propositions and related policy declarations are often not supported by a significant body of research. While there has been a large volume of literature produced on the idea of social capital, the relationship between sport and social capital has not been thoroughly examined. The collection of work in this book seeks to critically examine the theoretical connections between sport and social capital and in doing so, highlights the central role sport plays in facilitating social integration and civic participation. We also hope the research presented in this book that focuses on the connections between sport and social capital progresses discussions of these connections beyond intuition, suggestion and political opportunism. More broadly, we expect sport and social capital to stimulate and provide an accessible and useful framework for public debate about the social significance and benefits of sport and how sport and other areas of public policy might be reframed to more directly facilitate social capital development.