I am a Doctoral Candidate at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Sports Science and Development (ICESSD) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. I am in the middle of writing my doctoral thesis, entitled: “Sporting Lives and the Development Agenda: A Critical Analysis of Sport and Development in farmworker communities of the Cape Winelands”. Currently in my 5th year, I have completed a year-long fieldwork and envisage submission by end of the year 2014. Particularly impressed by the modes of thinking of the sub-discipline of humanities, my thematic research interests are in; sport and development, sport management, sport in marginalised settings (or subaltern sport), South African Agrarian issues (mainly labour relations) and development economics. I hold a postgraduate degree (Master of Arts (MA)) in Sport Management from London Metropolitan University, London, United Kingdom. Prior to pursuing a full-time academic research path, I dedicated many years of my life playing, competing and coaching of tennis as a professional.
I am a PhD student at the German Sports University in Cologne (DSHS). My research project is embedded in the broader field of sport-and-development and is located in Cape Town, South Africa in three different projects. All of the sport projects aim at life-skill development but are different in structure and program. The research takes place while the intervention is still ongoing, with the data being collected from February till July 2013 and February till July 2014.
The main questions guiding this research are:
- How can sport programs effectively generate wider social outcomes? What works, what doesn’t, where, why and when?
- To what extent are sport programs influenced by the wider social context they operate in? How does this impact their mode of action?
- What consequences can and must be drawn for monitoring and evaluating such youth sport programs?
In order to answer these questions it will be critically analyzed which determinants influence success and failure of youth sport programs in respect to development. It will also be explored how this impacts the monitoring & evaluation mechanisms in the sport-and-development sector. The three youth sport projects will be studied concerning their program, their funding bodies and their anchoring in society. In addition government policy, socio-economic factors and attitudes and ideology that are inherent in Khayelitsha will be examined. Data will be collected ethnographically, by (non)participant observation, by story collection (Most Significant Change Method) and by interviewing different stakeholders. The methods themselves will also be analyzed concerning their useful application in different programs, looking for implications for further research in the field of sport-and-development.
Simon C. Darnell
Simon C. Darnell is currently a Lecturer in the Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity Programme at Durham University. His research is concerned with the social and political implications of mobilizing sport to meet the goals of international development. He has published several articles on sport-for-development and is the author of "Sport for Development and Peace: A critical sociology" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012).
This paper is a conversation among the students of sport and development. What we call the “reading group” is a virtual platform of conversation, debate and transection. Over the last two years, once a month, a set of pre-circulated papers instigate a discussion that draws in ideas from rather diverse geographical, social, political, ideological, epistemological and research positions and experiences. These discussions have led us onto a conceptual adventure, which implicates our own positions as researchers and our personal leanings towards sport. Founding our conceptual framework on postcolonial critiques and subaltern studies, in this paper/panel we engage in a conversation in reference to the following readings:
Amusa, Lateef O., and A. L. Toriola. "The changing phases of Physical Education and sport in Africa: can a uniquely African model emerge?: physical education." African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance 16.4 (2010): 666-680.
Ndee, Hamad S. "Sport in Africa: western influences, British middle‐class educationalists and the diffusion of adapted athleticism in Tanzania." The International Journal of the History of Sport 17.1 (2000): 69-93.
Kapoor, I. “Hyper-Self-Reflexive Development? Spivak on Representing the Third World 'Other'.” Third World Quarterly 25.4 (2004): 627-647
With a humanities agenda at heart, we seek and engage with the “subaltern” in the “Sport for Development and Peace” (SDP) literature, and interrogate their “subalternity”. The questions that invite us and the readers of this text into a conversation are:
Some founding questions:
- Keeping Spivak’s (1988) critique in Can the Subaltern Speak in view, should work that focuses on sport for development look to critiques of the ideological constructs of sport for development, rather than on its particular manifestations? Might this be a way for scholars to account for Spivak’s concerns about attempts to give voice to subaltern populations, while also being “responsible to the text”?
- If, as Spivak argues, we should be studying the mechanics of the construction of the Other rather than invocations of the authenticity of the Other (1988; p. 90), what would this look like for SDP? What questions would this lead us to ask? What methodologies would be used? How would we know that this is the kind of work that we are doing?
- How, then, can we work towards and/or recognize the moment in sport-for-development when the subaltern might cease to be? So, how do we understand self-determination in and through SDP?
Questions on the core readings:
- How can there be a uniquely, homogenous “African” physical education and sport curriculum – as Amusa and Toriola (2010) seem to be calling for – if cultural diversity is the main reason not to important models of programmes from overseas?
- Amusa and Toriola’s (2010) compelling critique of Physical Education in post-colonial Africa ultimately runs the risk of securing the subaltern status of ‘Africans’ when they challenge educators to ask “Can Physical Education and Sport in Africa in the 21st Century be made more relevant to the indigenous African populations?”
- Ndee (2000) and Maclean (2010) quite explicitly draw out the continuities in colonial discourse on “the games” to present day SDP discourse, where “discipline” and “obedience” are the virtues that sport seeks to impart on its subjects. Is this making or breaking of the “subaltern”? While Darnell and Hayhurst (2013) make a case for attention to social history, neither SDP critics nor evangelists seem to work with the nuances and complexity of how notions of SDP are reshaping the social realities, as presented in theoretical and historical works of Maclean and Ndee. Do we need to be in a present, where SDP is history to make sense of this?
- Can there ever be a universal concept? And if so, is that the only time when one can judge? As attempting as Kapoor’s respectively Spivak’s ideas are - are they practical (for the SDP field)?
Darnell, Simon C. “Orientalism through sport: towards a Said-ian analysis of imperialism and ‘Sport for Development and Peace’.” Sport in Society ahead-of-print (2013): 1-15.
Darnell, Simon C. and Hayhurst, Lyndsay MC. “De‐colonizing the politics and practice of
sport‐for‐development: Critical insights from postcolonial feminist theory and methods.” (2013).
Forde, Shawn D. “Fear and loathing in Lesotho: An autoethnographic analysis of sport for development and peace.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport (2013).
Hayhurst, Lyndsay MC. “The ‘Girl Effect’and martial arts: social entrepreneurship and sport, gender and development in Uganda.” Gender, Place & Culture ahead-of-print (2013): 1-19.
MacLean, Malcolm. “Ambiguity within the Boundary: Re-reading CLR James's Beyond a Boundary.” Journal of Sport History 37.1 (2010): 99-117.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Can the subaltern speak?.” (1988).