Title: Reaching the 'hard to reach': engagement, relationship building and social control in sport based social inclusion work

Authors: Tim Crabbe

Addresses: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Collegiate Crescent Campus, Sheffield S10 2BP, UK

Abstract: Alongside the mediated increases in the popularity and commercial appeal of contemporary sport, in recent years there has been growing interest in the use of sport as a social policy tool. However, the capacity of sport to address the needs of disadvantaged groups and tackle wider social problems such as crime and anti-social behaviour remains contested. In this paper a case is made for the centering of |approach| and |style| of delivery, rather than sport, in the engagement of disadvantaged and |hard to reach| young people. The paper also acknowledges the limitations of the transformative potential of sport-based interventions in the context of a consumer society and extant functionalist perspectives, which emphasise sports normalising role.

Keywords: community sport; Positive Futures; engagement; cultural capital; cultural intermediaries; social control; relationship building; social inclusion; social policy; disadvantaged groups; young people; youth; sport management; crime; anti-social behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2007.011388

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2007 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.27 - 40

Published online: 30 Nov 2006 *

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