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Mobilising the sport-based community: the construction of social work through rationales of advanced liberalism
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6252-9220
2017 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 155-167Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on the forms and conditions of welfare provision and social work in the transforming welfare state. The Sport Programme (SP) is a municipal sport-based social intervention launched in response to segregation causing tensions in society, crime, and social exclusion. The programme constitutes a case for examination. Sport activities for youths at risk in the SP are assumed to foster a sense of community and social cohesion. The article investigates how ‘the community’ is constructed as a space for social inclusion. A variety of statements articulated by policy makers and municipal administrators are analysed from a governmentality perspective. The analysis suggests that ‘community’ is formed by distinguishing the SP from public welfare and social work and by mobilising civil society in the intervention. Public welfare is problematised as bureaucratic and insufficient, whereas civil society is associated with the potency of voluntarism, authentic leadership, and personal relations based on common identity and shared experiences. By involving a social entrepreneur, the SP mobilises and activates civil society as a means of responding to social problems, forming ‘community’ as a space with a ‘human touch’. Such a partnership re-distributes responsibility for responding to social problems to a variety of agencies. It is discussed how the SP enables role model identification as the primary governing rationale and how this incorporates elements of de-professionalisation in social work. Consideration is given to challenges for social work and to how activating ‘community’ illustrates tendencies and transformations in contemporary Swedish welfare provision.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017. Vol. 7, no 2, p. 155-167
Keywords [en]
community work, social constructionism, exclusion/inclusion, social welfare, social policy
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-136148DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2017.1310127OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-136148DiVA, id: diva2:1085852
Available from: 2017-03-30 Created: 2017-03-30 Last updated: 2018-04-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf