This review investigates the potential implications of Putnam’s recent book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis for the
field of social sport sciences. The main themes in Putnam’s Our Kids are class segregation and the widening ‘opportunity’
gap between the ‘have’ and ‘have nots’ in American society. The question can and needs to be asked: what the impact of
class-based segregation has been on ‘our sport clubs’? Furthermore, Putnam also discusses the importance and unequal
provision of Extracurricular activities. Putnam sees such activities as contexts for developing social skills, a sense of civic
engagement and even for generating upward mobility. An important advantage of such activities is, according to Putnam,
the exposure to caring adults outside the family, who can often serve as valuable mentors. However, throughout the book,
Putnam uses a rather judgmental and moralizing language when talking about the parents of the ‘have nots’. The lesson
that sport researchers can learn from this is to be sensitive and critical to moralizing approaches and deficiency discourses
regarding the inclusion in and through sport of children and youth living in poverty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-253
Number of pages4
JournalSocial Inclusion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

    Research areas

  • sport, policy, inequality, exclusion, mentoring

ID: 35011306