Sport and belonging

  • Walseth K
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Abstract

Even though it is a common understanding among policymakers that playing sport creates feelings of belonging to a community, there is little research that confirms this assumption. The present article focuses on the relationship between sport and belonging. The study is based on life history interviews with 21 young Norwegian Muslim women with immigrant backgrounds, aged between 16 and 25 years. The article suggests that there are different forms of belonging produced through sport. The analysis separates between traditional sport communities that produce social support and more expressivity based sport communities that contribute to identity confirmation and self-image building. Moreover, the article points to the finding that young Muslim women experience a sense of belonging within sports because playing sports is sometimes perceived as a `place of refuge'.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Belonging
  • Community
  • Integration
  • Minorities
  • Sport

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Authors

  • Kristin Walseth

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