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Social exclusion and Austerity policies in England: the role of sports in a new area of social polarisation and inequality?

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Collins, Mike; Haudenhuyse, Rein

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Abstract Poverty still counts as the core of social exclusion from sport and many other domains of people's lives. In the first part of this paper, we shortly describe the recent poverty trends in England, and identify groups that are more at-risk of being poor and socially excluded. We then focus on the relationship between poverty, social exclusion and leisure/sports participation, and describe a case study that addresses young people's social exclusion through the use of sports (i.e., Positive Futures). Although further analysis is warranted, it would seem that growing structural inequalities (including sport participation) -with their concomitant effects on health and quality of life- are further widened and deepened by the policy measures taken by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the UK. In addition, within a climate of austerity, sport-based social inclusion schemes are likely to become wholly inadequate in the face of exclusionary forces such schemes envision to combat.
Keywords exclusion; social integration; inclusion; poverty; leisure time; sports; social inequality; health; adolescent; deprivation; Great Britain
Classification Leisure Research; General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 5-18
Journal Social Inclusion, 3 (2015) 3
Issue topic Sport for social inclusion: critical analyses and future challenges
ISSN 2183-2803
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution