Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Chair of Sport Sociology

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Department of Sport Sciences | Chair of Sport Sociology | Projects | All Projects | Civic engagement in sports clubs in peripheral rural areas of the new federal states in Germany

Civic engagement in sports clubs in peripheral rural areas of the new federal states in Germany

Project data

Project management: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Burrmann und Prof. Dr. Sebastian Braun

Co-worker: Kathrin Fahn, Dr. Stephan Sielschott, Friederike van der Linden, Nicolas Antoniades

Running time: 05/2021 – 04/2024

Project description

The recruitment and retention of volunteers is a key economic and organisational-cultural "survival requirement" for voluntary associations at the local level. However, sports clubs in particular, which in many places shape village life in structurally weaker peripheral rural regions, have been complaining for some time about growing mobilisation problems, especially of volunteer members - a concern that is likely to increase again in the course of the measures to contain the Corona pandemic.

Against this background, the aim of the research project is to analyse socio-spatial-structural, organisational and individual framework conditions that condition, restrict and promote voluntary and honorary commitment in sports clubs in selected peripheral rural areas in the new federal states. In order to investigate this objective empirically, a secondary analysis of representative population data on civic involvement in sport will be carried out, taking into account socio-spatial-structural differences; on the other hand, a quantitative and a qualitative sub-study will be conducted in selected sports clubs. A full survey of members in 40 sports clubs will be carried out using a standardised online questionnaire, and qualitative case studies will be conducted in 6 sports clubs by carrying out group discussions with board members, voluntary and non-committed members and local councillors and using observation methods.

In addition to scientific publications, a practice-oriented online brochure will be developed. At the same time, recommendations for action for sports clubs in rural areas will be developed together with stakeholders in the selected social areas.

Funding notice

The project is funded as part of Federal Rural Development Scheme (BULE), which the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) implements on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).