The glue that holds the community together? Sport and sustainability in rural Australia

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Spaaij, Ramon ORCID: 0000-0002-1260-3111 (2009) The glue that holds the community together? Sport and sustainability in rural Australia. Sport in Society, 12 (9). pp. 1132-1146. ISSN 1743-0437 (print) 1743-0445 (online)


Drawing on the author's research in northwest Victoria, Australia, this essay examines the forms of capital that are created in and through rural sport as well as the processes of social inclusion and exclusion that structure access to social networks and to the resources these networks contain. In the face of economic and social changes that affect the region, rural sport participants view local sport clubs as vital community hubs fostering social cohesion, local and regional identities and a shared focus and outlet. Sporting competitions in northwest Victoria also contribute to cultural and economic capital for some participants, and to relatively limited stocks of linking social capital. While the creation and transference of these capitals are to a large degree regulated by wider social divisions, structural changes in the area present increased opportunities for other people, including young women, to take on leadership roles and to develop new skills and knowledge through sport participation.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/17430430903137787
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords rural sport, social benefits, social capital, cultural capital, economic capital, sport participation
Citations in Scopus 45 - View on Scopus
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