A Goal For Social Inclusion




Macnaughton, Julian

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The purpose of this study is to contribute to the discussion of social inclusion and sport programs for marginalized people by giving voice to program participants and volunteers, while critically examining the tensions inherent in such programs. Presented as a case study of the Victoria Dreams—using realist and creative ethnographic representations—this research study offers important insights on the social dynamics of street soccer and strives to contribute to the larger body of research on sport, and social inclusion. An original fictional representation, and four interviews illuminate the culture and experiences of Victoria Dreams street soccer players and volunteers. Social Capital theory is used as a guiding framework to explore both bridging and bonding links. The results address central issues including: the importance of friendship and integration; eating together; motivation, self-confidence and the role of competition. The discussion offers further exploration of key points including: access and inclusion; the role of tournaments; social capital theory; communication and leadership; and fictional representation as a research genre. A number of future research directions are offered, in the hope of adding to the street soccer experience and adding to the research base on sport and social inclusion. Notably, it is suggested a community-based participatory action research project could help improve the delivery of street soccer and ensure more participants and volunteers are engaged.



street soccer, social capital, social inclusion