Sports development and social capital

Authored by: Andrew Adams

Routledge Handbook of Sports Development

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415479967
eBook ISBN: 9780203885581
Adobe ISBN: 9781134019717

10.4324/9780203885581.ch6

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Abstract

The observation that social capital represents a ‘sack of analytical potatoes’ (Fine 2001) may well be applied to sports development, where it seems that everyone is an expert, has an opinion or has experiential insights that confer expertise. As Long has argued, disagreement in sport is often based on ‘belief rather than evidence’ (2008: 236), reinforcing what Coalter has referred to as the ‘mythopoeic’ (2007a: 9) status of sport where sport is viewed as ‘self-evidently a good thing’ (Rowe 2005). This over generalising of sport has impacted upon both the ‘emergence of sports development as a political issue’ and more importantly its ‘systemic embeddedness’ (Houlihan and White 2002: 230—31) into national and regional policy frameworks in the UK. Sports development’s emergence as a field of both policy and practice is as an adjunct to broader trends in social and economic policy making.

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