Sports-based intervention and the problem of youth offending: a diverse enough tool for a diverse society?

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Abstract

This paper discusses sports-based interventions (SBIs) and the problem of youth crime. It notes the positive role sport can play in changing to better the lives of young people. However, there is a lack of robust evidence to support the argument that participation in sporting activity can lead to a reduction in anti-social and offending behaviour. The paper discusses how through focusing on ‘individual needs’ and ‘pathways to work’, SBIs can become overly reductionist and mask broader structural class-, gender- and race-based inequalities that permeate through neoliberal nation-states and western criminal justice systems. It concludes that SBI advocates must seek to promote a less homogeneous idea of what an SBI is, as well as be more sensitive to the diverse needs of young people, particularly if they are to tackle the underlying structural inequalities that arguably create the social problem, that is youth crime in the first place.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1292
Number of pages14
JournalSport in Society
Volume16
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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