The rhetoric of exclusion: Perspectives of cultural diversity in Australian netball

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Journal Article
Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 2004, 28 (4), pp. 453 - 476
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This research investigates issues of cultural diversity and inclusiveness in women's netball in Australia using the rhetoric of exclusion. Women and girls from culturally diverse backgrounds spoke of reinforced difference and cultural assimilation in their netball experiences. Women born in other English-speaking countries recalled feelings of inclusion and limited cultural dissonance and indicated that netball helped them feel as part of their new community and gain social capital via participation. Although experiences of explicit exclusion or racial discrimination were virtually nonreported, some women felt a strong sense of cultural conformity to Anglo-centric expectations of behavior. The women's stories and experiences suggest that women from culturally diverse backgrounds have found few opportunities to express their cultural distinctiveness through mainstream Australian sports such as netball. The conclusion reached after this examination is that the rhetoric of exclusion is pervasive in Australian netball and unlikely to change in the near future. © 2004 Sage Publications.
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