Applying intergroup contact theory to sport-for-development

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sport Management Review, 2020
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2020 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand Despite evidence of its effectiveness in the area of conflict studies, intergroup contact theory (ICT) has rarely been applied to specifically designed sport-for-development (SFD) interventions. As such, the purpose of this study is to demonstrate the suitability and applicability of ICT as a framework analyzing SFD interventions that aim to foster integrative social transformation. In this paper, we first situate ICT within the broader sport and SFD contexts before demonstrating the utility of ICT through a reflective analysis of League Bilong Laif (LBL), an education-focused SFD intervention in Papua New Guinea. Our examination of LBL demonstrates that ICT may well be a useful framework to design and deliver SFD interventions, particularly in the context of existing intergroup tensions. To maximize opportunities for positive social impact, we propose the aspect of ‘cultural relevance and excitement potential’ as an additional critical condition for achieving meaningful intergroup development.
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