- Refugee youth, belonging and community sport
- Leisure Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 34 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article examines community sport as a site where refugee youth negotiate belonging, which is conceptualised as a dynamic dialectic of ‘seeking’ and ‘granting’. Drawing on three years of ethnographic fieldwork among Somali Australian youth at community football (soccer) clubs in Melbourne, the article identifies the kinds of belonging that are constructed by refugee youth in community sport, the social processes that facilitate or impede these belongings, and the forms of boundary work involved. The belonging negotiated by Somali Australian youth in community sports clubs is multi-layered, dynamic and situational, and involves multiple boundary shifts. It operates at varying scales of experience from the sports team and local community to the transnational. The article shows that while social boundaries such as clan, team and locality are porous, other boundaries of inclusion/exclusion, notably gender, ethnicity and religion, tend to be more stable and more difficult to cross for Somali Australian youth in community football clubs.
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