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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: An ethnography of lived experience: Reframing sports-based interventions (SBIs) for ‘at-risk’ girls
Author(s): Raymond, Chelsea Anne
Supervisor(s): Emond, Ruth
Engstrom, Sandra
Keywords: ethnography
sports-based interventions
social work
Issue Date: Dec-2021
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Sports-based interventions are considered to be an effective method for developing life skills to support the physical, psychological, emotional, and social development of ‘at-risk’ young people. Under neoliberal conditions, sport and physical activity have been employed to help target, manage and develop young people into responsibilized, active, global citizens. This deterministic stance that young people are viewed both ‘as risks’ and ‘at-risk’ has fuelled anxiety over this ‘risky’ and ‘disengaged’ young person. This thesis argues that the assumed risk of young people is a pervasive concept that underpins policy, practice and scholarship on young people and sports-based interventions. An inductive ethnographic methodology was employed to demonstrate how class, risk and gender shape the lived experience of ‘at-risk’ girls participating in a football-based intervention in Scotland. This involved prolonged participation-observation over nine months, formal semi- structured interviews with adult coaches and creative arts-based focus groups with young people. Braun and Clarke’s (2006; 2019) reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyse the wealth of data collected. Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field and capital were employed as a conceptual tool to better understand sporting practices as an interaction between structure and agency. Findings suggest that dominant discourses of ‘youth-at-risk’ and gender are embedded in the programme design, the ‘coaching habitus’ of the coaches that deliver the programme, and the ‘gendered sporting habitus’ of the young people. Furthermore, findings expose how neoliberal ideologies are embedded in praxis and discourses related to young people, risk, sport and gender. Finally, the thesis demonstrates how sports-based interventions serve as sites for the reproduction and dismantlement of inequalities and explain the juxtaposition between everyday reality and lived experiences of contemporary girls participating in sport.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: Faculty of Social Sciences

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