Sport spaces as sites of multiculturalism: A neighbourhood study examining experiences of diversity and belonging

Mrs Jora Broerse1

1Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia


Multiculturalism and the management of diversity are of growing personal and political importance due to changing demographic urban settings. This presentation discusses ethnographic data and explores how people in Footscray, Melbourne, engage with ethnic and cultural diversity through sport participation. The neighbourhood public sites selected for this research represent the wide range of sports activities organised in this area: a community club, gyms/boxing clubs, local city council activities, and informal/self-organised sport activities. The aim of this study is twofold. Firstly, using an everyday multiculturalism approach, I explore how, why and to what extent everyday face-to-face interactions in sport spaces form a basis for identity construction and experiences of (local) belonging. Secondly, following a human geographic approach, I ask who uses which public sport spaces and how these places are shared and how potential intercultural encounters play out. This research ultimately aims at further developing the anthropology of the spatiality and movement of sporting bodies in highly diverse urban areas.


Jora Broerse is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research is concerned with lived multiculturalism, migrant integration, and space making practices in the context of sport in super-diverse neighbourhoods


The Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) is the principal body representing geographers and promoting the study and application of geography in Australia. It was founded in 1958 and since then has promoted, supported and defended Australian geography.

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