This paper will try to address the question why, to this date, empirically
we still know relatively little about the impact of austerity policies in
relation to sport (non-)participation of people living in poverty. It is
reasonable to assume that austerity measures spanning over many life
and policy domains, such as, housing, energy costs, transport, employment,
healthcare, social welfare, childcare, education, pension, public
services, sport provisions, etc., might have had an impact on the leisure
participation opportunities and outcomes of people in poverty. However,
such assumptions remain under-researched. I will put forward the following
potential reasons for the current knowledge gap: (1) the conceptual
broadening and hollowing out of ‘poverty’; (2) the failure to situate
sport participation within wider life and policy domains; (3) the difficulty
to measure organised sport participation of people living in poverty
through existing sport participation surveys; (4) the acute lack of systematic
problem and policy analyses in terms of the impact of austerity
measures on people living in poverty; and (5) the reluctance of sport and
leisure academics to use critical political analyses of austerity policy
measures. We need to develop a better understanding of the impact of
austerity policies and a welfare state rollback on the general leisure
opportunities and outcomes of people in poverty, to help inform policymakers
about the (unintended) outcomes of austerity policies on multiple
life domains, of which sport is just one of many.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Austerity, leisure, policy, poverty, social class, sport participation

ID: 36063115