Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Chair of Sport Sociology

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Integration achievements of volunteer-based sports associations

Project description


The relevant sociological diagnoses of the last two decades document it strikingly: the issue of social integration has advanced to a central theme in social science and socio-political discussions. In particular, it is voluntary associations with their beneficial social environment, which have been credited with the specific quality of producing ‘social cement’, something which modern societies too, or especially, cannot do without. These far from modest ideas about the integrative benefits of voluntary organisations have so far been met with noticeable shortfalls in German social science research. In the context of current discussions about voluntary associations being supporting links in integration processes throughout society, this study concentrates on the proposition of the sports club as being a basis for social cohesion: we analyse the contribution to integration provided by sports clubs, as voluntary associations, and address a broad spectrum of issues on theoretical and empirical levels, based on the theoretical approach to the non-profit sector, civic engagement and social capital. The empirical groundwork relating to the study consists of a representative survey of the population as well as an additional representative survey of sports club members in Germany. With regard to theory and empirical studies the research project analyzed the integration achievements of volunteer-based sports associations.

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Project team:  Prof. Dr. Jürgen Baur (University of Potsdam, head of the project), Prof. Dr. Sebastian Braun (head of the project), Dr. Michael Nagel

Duration: 01.2001 till 12.2002

On behalf of: Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach foundation