The sociology of sport for development: The Anglo-American state of the art and projection in French sociology


The use of sport in planning and in a context of international solidarity has spread rapidly and massively in recent years. It could constitute a very relevant object for the French sociology of sport, which, for the moment, pays it little attention, unlike the Anglo-American social sciences. To apprehend it as an object of research therefore requires, at least, to consider this dense Anglo-American literature. However, it has been structured on the basis of categories of thought for which it is difficult to find equivalents in French-language sociology. This seems all the more complex as terminological differences manifest more substantially in scientific cultures and object relations. Therefore, the emergence of French works on this use of sport also requires an epistemological precaution consisting of identifying the dynamics by which this field of research was structured and then examining, based on them, the opportune conditions for the development of the sociology of international development through sport on projects initiated by French actors. This article proposes both a review of Anglo-American literature, an analysis of the epistemological positions of the main researchers concerned with the category of “sport for development,” and a discussion of the opportunities and possibilities of investing in this object for sports sociologists in France.

  • sport
  • development
  • sociology
  • knowledge transfer
  • international
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