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Engaging with diversity through sport in a super-diverse neighbourhood

Multiculturalism and the management of diversity are of growing personal and political importance due to changing demographic urban settings. This ethnographic research explores how neighbourhood residents engage with ethnic and cultural diversity through sport participation. Following an everyday multiculturalism approach, I explore how everyday face-to-face interactions form the basis for identity construction and experiences of (local) belonging. Sport is a key public social context that has immense social and cultural importance in modern times. Neighbourhoods provide excellent settings to study inter-ethnic encounters and makes it possible to fully capture urban super-diversity, as single sport clubs or sites can be quite homogenous. This research will take place in Footscray, a super-diverse western inner suburb of Melbourne. Participants’ experiences are examined through ethnographic methods combined with a micro-ethnographic approach using video-recording and analysis. In my PhD-project, I connect geography (space making specifically) and social processes that will enable me to explore the role of sport as an institution and as an embodied activity in the formation of identities and the production of diversity discourses. This knowledge will identify ways to enhance social cohesion in highly diverse neighbourhoods.

By Jora Broerse
Victoria University, Melbourne
Supervisors: Prof. Ramón Spaaij and Dr. Brent McDonald

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