Children's Marginalization in Sports in India: A TALE of Multidimensional Experience

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Übungsraum 4A KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
The present study explores various forms of intersectional discrimination experienced by children in India within the institution of sports. Intersectionality during the last three decades emerged as a primary analytical tool in sociological discourses which questions the ideology that construe inequality as an inevitable consequence of one’s social position, taking into account not gender alone, but also other sources of identity like race, class, sexuality, religion, age, ability, nationality. Though a deficient amount of literature exists examining varied factors that promote or inhibit children’s participation in sporting activities, Annette Lareau (2003) noted that children’s access to and participation in structured sports are highly influenced by the union of their class location, family environment, school curriculum, gender, and parenting style. In fact, burgeoning researches in North American and European societies espousing intersectional approach within sociology of childhood has brought to the fore the diverse lived experiences of children belonging to different strata of the society. Conversely in India, research on the interrelationship of childhood and sports, more specifically the intersectional complexities influencing children’s participation in sporting activities has not been sufficiently examined. This paper hence illustrates by drawing real life examples from Indian context like, the case of Purulia football team, Deeksha boys football team, Para Athletic team, and many more how the communion of diverse social identities like class location, religion, gender and disability situate children in multiple hierarchies i.e. expose them to structural intersectional discrimination, which controls and manipulate their opportunities to participate in organized sporting events. Secondly, this paper also focuses on how the complex alliance of social characteristics along with the legal and political institutions facilitates discriminatory practices by reproducing their subordinate status and fabricates unequal prospects for these children.