Conceptualising the local experience in sport and development: local perspectives from a South African community
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This master thesis was conducted through the Department of Physical Education at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. The topic for the thesis is sport in an international development context, often referred to as “Sport for Development and Peace” (SDP). An increasing number of projects aim to use sport as a tool for improving, for instance, social, cultural and educational conditions in marginalised or disadvantaged communities. However, in the literature, there are limited empirical examinations that take the perspective of the recipients. Therefore, in an attempt to understand how a SDP programme is experienced from the perspective of local community members one particular SDP intervention in a South African community is examined. The study applies a qualitative research structure inspired by person-centred ethnography. I combined participant observations, semi-structured interviews and document analyses to explore this perspective. In doing this the study doesn’t ask if SDP works, but rather how it works, and how it is experienced by community members who have participated in the program and those who have not. The empirical evidence was collected through a six week ethnographical field work between October and December 2014. Document analyses were based solely on publicly accessible documents and were conducted mainly during the field work. The ethnographical field work with observations was conducted in a South African community pseudonymously named Madala Town and six interviews with individuals, and one group interview with three girls from the township were conducted. This study demonstrated how local employment in the MCSC created trust within the community, as well as bringing in inherent knowledge of which strategies would and would not work. As an alternative to the use of Northern volunteers with sports experience, yet limited understanding of the everyday living conditions and cultural norms in the community, the findings presented here highlight the positive outcomes of local, qualified employees.
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole