Football for Inclusion: Examining the Pedagogic Rationalities and the Technologies of Solidarity of a Sports-Based Intervention in Sweden

David Ekholm, Magnus Dahlstedt
2017 Social Inclusion  
Sports practices have been emphasised in social policy as a means of responding to social problems. In this article we analyse a sports-based social intervention performed in a "socially vulnerable" area in Sweden. We examine the formation of includable citizens in this project, based on interviews with representatives involved in the project. The material is analysed from a governmentality perspective, focusing on how problems and solutions are constructed as being constitutive of each other.
more » ... ive of each other. The focus of the analysis is on social solidarity and inclusion as contemporary challenges, and how sport, specifically football, is highlighted as a way of creating social solidarity through a pedagogic rationality—football as a means of fostering citizens according to specific ideals of solidarity and inclusion. The formation of solidarity appears not as a mutual process whereby an integrated social collective is created, but rather as a process whereby those affected by exclusion are given the opportunity to individually adapt to a set of Swedish norms, and to linguistic and cultural skills, as a means of reaching the "inside". Inclusion seems to be possible as long as the "excluded" adapt to the "inside", which is made possible by the sports-based pedagogy. In conclusion, social problems and social tensions are spatially located in "the Area" of "the City", whose social policy, of which this sports-based intervention is a part, maintains rather than reforms the social order that creates these very tensions.
doi:10.17645/si.v5i2.839 fatcat:vbzq7kymmvhdpas2hnv3c4evju