The Politics of Sport and Social Enterprise

Authored by: Gavin Reid

Routledge Handbook of Sport and Politics

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138792548
eBook ISBN: 9781315761930
Adobe ISBN: 9781317646679

10.4324/9781315761930.ch32

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

This chapter examines the politics of the under-examined link between sport and social enterprise. Some argue that, with the current global dominance of neo-liberalism, we see sport’s ‘deep politics’ come to the fore, through sweatshop labour practices, zero hours contracts, dominance of sponsors’ rights over democratic freedoms, and the undermining of football club traditions by billionaire owners (Collins 2013). The aforementioned author argues that, while the exploitative relationship between sport and capitalism has never been so visible, sport supports the neo-liberal hegemony by offering an escape from poverty and opportunities for joyful self-expression and personal identification. As he argues, ‘little wonder that corporate giants and local businesses alike seek to profit from such a potent cocktail’ (p. 12). The fear of this is captured by Jarvie’s (2003: 150) comment that ‘if the public domain of Scottish sport is . . . invaded by the market domain of buying and selling, the primordial democratic promise of equal citizenship and sporting equity . . . will be negated’. However, social enterprise supporters embrace a more positive view of business arguing that, in the hands of social entrepreneurs, it can be harnessed for fundamental social change. They believe that innovative business models that see profit as a vehicle for the common good, not unlimited private or shareholder gain, generate levels of social capital not found in outdated business, charity and public sector models (Thorp 2015a, 2015b).

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.