Sport and Belonging in the Super-Diverse City

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Dachgeschoss (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Ramon SPAAIJ, Victoria University, Australia, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
This paper critically examines community sport as a (semi-)public sphere in super-diverse cities where young people with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds negotiate a sense of belonging. Belonging is conceptualised as a dynamic interplay between the politics of difference and boundary-drawing and the personal, intimate experience of becoming ‘at home’ in a place or in particular collectivities. Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in community sports spaces in Australia and the Netherlands, three key questions are addressed: What kinds of belonging are constructed by young people with CALD backgrounds in community sport? What social processes facilitate or impede these belongings? And what forms of boundary work are involved in the negotiation of these belongings? It is shown how the kinds of belonging that culturally diverse youth negotiate in sport are multi-layered and situational, and how they intersect with, and are shaped by, broader discourses and processes of social inclusion/exclusion.