Sport-for-inclusion in Helsinki : A field of tension between policymakers and practitioners

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Title: Sport-for-inclusion in Helsinki : A field of tension between policymakers and practitioners
Author: Nicolson, Marcus
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, Department of World Cultures
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Area and Cultural Studies
Alue- ja kulttuurintutkimus
Region- och kulturstudier
Abstract: This Master’s thesis explores sport-for-inclusion programmes in the Helsinki capital region, a subject area which has been lacking critical investigation in Finland. The purpose of this study is to give an overview how these programmes are managed and delivered, as well as presenting possible improvements to the current system. There will be an analysis of the role which local NGOs play in the provision of such activities, alongside a discussion of how local authority and governmental actors are trying to promote work in the sector. The hypothesis of this study is that there is a discord between the various players involved in the delivery of these services, and that there is room for the existing strategy behind these programmes to be improved. International research has taken influence from the work of Pierre Bourdieu and his theory of social capital, which is thought to be generated through participation in inclusionary sports activities. Academics, including Fred Coalter and Ramon Spaaij, have paved the way for future researchers to take a critical approach to the study of these programmes. This, Helsinki-based, study will take inspiration from the international research to conduct an independent, and critical review, of the existing sport-for-inclusion work on-going in the capital region. Qualitative interviews with 11 key players in the Helsinki sport-for-inclusion arena were conducted in the research process of this study. Additionally, a critical examination of the existing Finnish sports legislature and promotional materials from these programmes helped to formulate an impression of how the system is operating. In the final discussion of this study it will be revealed that there is a field of tension between the various practitioners and policymakers in the local sport-for-inclusion sector. This is outlined with reference to the interviews and background research presented throughout the study. It is anticipated that the findings and recommendations given in this investigation can make a meaningful contribution to the healthy development of inclusionary sports programmes in the capital region and beyond.
Subject: sport
social capital

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