Beyond anecdotes: The development of social capital through inter-community sport events

Australian Centre for Event Management
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Sustainable Development and Events - Proceedings of ACEM 5th International Event Management Summit, 2009, pp. 435 - 456
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Sport events are believed to promote dialogue, integration and peaceful understanding among groups, even when other forms of negotiation have not been successful (Croft, 2005; Sugden, 2006). At the same time, sport events are thought to play a role in the construction, reproduction or consolidation of social identities in politically, socially or ethnically divided societies. Better publicised events, such as the Olympics, may demonstrate this social utility of sport, where diverse communities stand and feel together as one. However, the social outcomes from sport events are largely anecdotal. This paper argues that for disparate communities to experience lasting benefits from sport events there is the need to move beyond symbolism and anecdotes. There is a need to examine the active engagement of groups with `others in participatory sport event projects where they experience first hand the impacts of cooperation and diversity
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