SDP and social anthropology

Authored by: Holly Collison

Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138210486
eBook ISBN: 9781315455174
Adobe ISBN:


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Despite numerous calls for anthropological perspectives to be applied to SDP research, the relative absence of anthropological enquiry in this field of study remains. Inherently occupied by the study of people, culture, social norms, development processes and organisational practices – often in diverse international contexts – the lack of engagement with anthropology is surprising. This chapter has three objectives. First, it attempts to examine existing anthropological literature within both sport and development contexts. Second, it highlights the opportunities that anthropology can bring to the SDP field with regard to social process, cultural understandings and challenging assumptions of the local. And third, the chapter aims to demonstrate the ethical advantages of researching with local populations, organisations and recipient populations as opposed to ‘on’ them, giving prevalence to cultural specificity and local voices.

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