Investigation Of Sport As A Medium To Promote Peace

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Investigation Of Sport As A Medium To Promote Peace


Chapter One


Introduction

Background Of The Study

For ages, people have debated the function and influence of sports in society. Sport, according to some observers, is a physical activity that is always coupled with competition between nations or teams for the prestige and glory of victory. Sport, according to English writer and journalist George Orwell, is “war without the shooting.” The goal of competitive sports, according to Orwell (1994), is to defeat the opponent at any costs while humiliating them and their followers. “serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence” (p. 322). Sport operates largely through bridging social, economic, and cultural gaps within society, as well as by fostering a feeling of shared identity and fellowship among groups that may otherwise be distrustful, hostile, or violent against one another. Sport can help in demobilization and disarmament initiatives, as well as the frequently difficult reintegration of ex-fighters, especially former child combatants, into their communities. Regular sports activities can also aid in the healing of war-related trauma by providing safe places for activities that allow victims of conflict to reclaim a feeling of normalcy and security. Victims can form constructive relationships in safe places and, in the case of individuals who are newly incapacitated, regain confidence in their own skills. Sport, games, and physical activity in general can be found in almost any community. Sport is popular across political, national, and ideological lines, and viewers and participants alike enjoy it (SDP International Working Group, 2008). Football, for example, is estimated by FIFA to be played by 265 million people worldwide (FIFA, 2007), while other sports, such as cricket, basketball, and baseball, attract millions of viewers and participants globally. The concept that the popularity of sport provides a hook to pull multiple stakeholders and at-risk populations into community welfare programs supports the use of sport as an intervention method. Sport’s ability to effectively link people and communities is one of its most essential characteristics. These communities become key areas of social networking when they are inclusive, supporting the ability to cooperate together (SDP International Working Group, 2008). The Open Fun Schools project in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an example of sport’s ability to stimulate the establishment of social networks amongst previously antagonistic cultures. This grassroots youth football program, which began in 1998, has brought together tens of thousands of children from previously hostile neighborhoods to play football together (Gasser and Levinsen, 2004).


Statement Of Problem

Members of various communities live in constant fear of confrontation, which can result in crime, as well as the loss of lives and property. Many Nigerians are beginning to wonder if the nation is on the verge of civil war. Sport is not a cure-all for development problems. If a programme is badly designed, it can bring out the negative sides of sport-violence, corruption and discrimination. To enable sport to unleash its full positive potential, emphasis must be place on incorporating the best values of sport and peacebuilding principles such as: acceptance, cooperation, inclusion, responsibility, respect and, trust. When integrated properly with other community programmes and services, sport initiatives can connect participants to resources that can help them in creating employment opportunities.


Objective Of The Study

  1. To examine how conflict among communities are resolved through sport
  2. To investigate how sporting events can foster common goals among communities
  3. To examine how sport can contribute to community development

Research Questions

  1. How can conflict among communities be resolved through sport ?
  2. How do sporting events foster common goals among communities ?
  3. How can sport contribute to community development ?

Significance Of The Study

While human and social capital deficiencies present themselves in people’s lives, they are frequently the outcome of social and economic structures and dynamics that limit people’s choices and activities. As a result, in order to achieve significant change, problems that lead to social exclusion (such as a lack of human and social capital) must be addressed at both the societal and individual levels. Sport may be utilized to improve people’s lives on each of these levels. Sport is a highly efficient method for engaging with socially excluded groups that are frequently difficult to approach because of its near universal popularity.


Scope Of The Study

The aim of this study is to investigate sport as a medium to promote peace. The geographical area for this study will be Nigeria


Limitation To The Study

Finance, inadequate research materials and time constraint were the major challenges the researcher encountered during the course of this study.


Definition Of Terms

Sport:

An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Peace:

Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict (such as war) and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups.


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