In the growing and nascent field of sport-for-development (SFD), there are limited studies that consider how sport may provide youth and adults with opportunities for employment and improved livelihoods (e.g., through job skills training and the provision of employment in combination with sport). This is surprising given the growing use of such approaches in practice (Svensson & Woods, 2017). Caution, however, must be taken when considering SFD and livelihoods. As Darnell et al. (2018) suggest, instrumental approaches to, for example, vocational training through SFD, may merely train individuals and groups to be workers in a depoliticized inequitable world. Given this, they suggest that scholars should look to adopt critical approaches that “might investigate the structures or antecedents of unemployment or discuss the socio-political implications of preparing workers for a neo-liberal global order in which capital is increasingly unregulated and mobile, and labour less organized and more precarious” (Darnell et al., 2018, p. 140-141; also see Standing, 2011).
Some research has briefly touched on SFD and economic development (e.g., Coalter, 2010; Spaaij, 2009), as well as explored social entrepreneurship, which may offer work opportunities for certain individuals and groups in some instances (Cohen and Welty-Peachey, 2015; Hayhurst, 2014; McSweeney, 2018). While these studies shed important insight into the dynamics of SFD, economic development, and employability, there is still a dearth of research that empirically and conceptually investigates sport and livelihoods. Indeed, Schulenkorf et al. (2016, p. 34) have suggested that there is a need for increased research on “job skills training, employability, rehabilitation, and the creation of social enterprises”. This special issue will give voice to these important considerations, while answering calls by numerous scholars for further examination of sport and livelihoods.
This special issue seeks to bring together empirical and conceptual work on the area of sport and livelihoods within the sport for development field. For this special issue, all papers that discuss, explore, and/or expand knowledge about the relationship between sport and livelihoods in various local, national, and international contexts are welcome. Papers from different disciplines, perspectives and global regions are invited, including scholar-practitioner contributions.
Research topics and themes may include but are not limited to
- Intended and unintended consequences of SFD programs focused on economic development
- The role of sport in offering opportunities for employment, vocational training, and job skills training
- Contextual, political, social, and cultural relations and influences on SFD and livelihood programs
- Critical or sociopolitical perspectives and evaluations of SFD and livelihoods
- Management processes and practical strategies for implementing SFD focused on livelihoods in the Global South and Global North
- Theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches to the study of sport and livelihoods
- Explorations on the gendered and intersectional dynamics and relations of economic development through SFD
- SFD and social entrepreneurship, social enterprises, and other forms of entrepreneurship
- Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods for the study of sport and employability
Key dates and details for submissions
To be considered for the special issue, upload your manuscript through JSFD’s online portal by September 15th, 2019. Please indicate that the manuscript should be considered for this special issue in your cover letter. Submitted manuscripts should ensure to follow the author guidelines and manuscript format of JSFD. We expect the special issue to be published in late 2020. To discuss a potential submission, feel free to contact any of the special issue guest editors.
Contact details for guest editors:
- Mitchell McSweeney, York University, Canada
- Sarah Oxford, Victoria University, Australia
- Ramon Spaaij, Victoria University and University of Amsterdam
- Lyndsay Hayhurst, York University, Canada