Call for Papers | “Disrupting the Good Intentions of Sport (as a Tool for Inclusion and Integration)” | Linköping University, August 15–17 2018. Call ends February 4, 2018

This is a call for papers for a workshop organized as part of the 19th Nordic Migration Research Conference 2018.


Department of Sport Sciences, Malmö University

Recent years have witnessed a large number of refugees from various countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and many others, arriving in Europe to seek political asylum. There are multiple challenges that the incoming refugees and the hosting countries face. The incoming migrants have to navigate the different cultural practices of their host countries in relation to their own culture; and the hosting countries have to negotiate with resource allocation in the face of a rising populist politics. Although 2017 saw a de-escalation of these migratory movements, issues related to human rights, welfare and social inclusion of refugees have remained central in Europe and European politics.

Sport has been proposed as a potential facilitator for ‘integration’ and ‘social inclusion’ of migrant populations into hosting countries. The EU commission’s White Paper on Sport states that all citizens and residents should have access to sport, whilst also drawing attention to the health benefits of sport and physical activity. The White Paper also highlights the benefits of sport in support of inter-cultural dialogue and acculturation (second culture learning), suggesting that sport contributes significantly to economic and social cohesion and consequently sport involvement leads to more integrated societies.   (

There are, however, studies of sport practices that question the role of sport as a tool for social integration or as a mean to promote respect for ethnic, racial or gender diversity, stressing its ‘dark social capital’ such as gender and racial discrimination, doping, commercialization and women’s under-representation in sport governing bodies (Kamberidou & Patsadaras, 2007; Kamberidou, 2011). In other words, it is not evident that all sport activities have the same outcome – positive outcomes are related to how sport activities are organized. It is therefore important to study, create and implement ways in which sport and physical activities can lead to social inclusion and de-segregation.

In this workshop, we welcome papers that are investigating the field of sport and physical activity through a critical lens, highlighting the challenges within existing traditions and working towards inclusive and participatory practices. We propose the following themes for paper submission

  • Empirical work on sport and integration
  • Theorization of inclusion and physical activity and sport
  • Culturally relevant and inclusive methodologies which are working toward decolonizing the practices and the field.

Please send abstracts according to the conference organizers’ specified requirements:


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