Sport volunteering, active citizenship and social capital enhancement: what role in the ‘Big Society’?

Morgan, Haydn ORCID: 0000-0002-1645-8599 (2013) Sport volunteering, active citizenship and social capital enhancement: what role in the ‘Big Society’? International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 5 (3). pp. 381-395. doi:10.1080/19406940.2013.764542

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This position paper addresses the issues surrounding the development of active citizenship and social capital through volunteering in sport. The present UK Government has aligned much of its policy intent with fiscal constraint and identifying alternatives to balance the 'shortfall' of public provision. One such policy idea, 'Big Society' extols the need for citizen engagement through volunteering, to benefit both the individual and wider society. However, the basis for such social advantage has been uncritically determined, and as such, this paper will address three main concerns. Firstly, the notion that activities such as volunteering contribute to an individual's accumulation of social capital will be critically examined. Secondly, the extent of government involvement in facilitating community engagement will be articulated, to determine whether ideas and policies such as the 'Big Society’—which emphasise liberation of the individual and limited government involvement—are instrumental to social capital enhancement. Finally, the paper will offer a critical commentary on how the 'Big Society' may be realised through volunteering in sport, outlining key messages for those involved in the delivery of community sport as to how they may best position themselves to profit from current Government thinking.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics on 1st February 2013, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Volunteering; Social capital; Neo-liberalism; Big Society; Sport
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Depositing User: Haydn Morgan
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2017 14:55
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:10

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