Acculturation through sport: Different contexts different meanings

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Anne-Marie Elbe, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, Eleftheria Morela, Francis Ries, Olga Kouli, Xavier Sanchez

Research on the role of sport as a social integrative agent for migrants has provided equivocal results. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between ethnic–cultural identity and sport environmental factors. Young migrant male athletes from two different societal and sport contexts were studied: migrants from Eastern European countries living in Greece (n = 60) and from Latin America living in Spain (n = 60). Participants completed measures of ethnic and cultural identity, task-oriented motivational climate, and autonomysupportive coaching behaviour. Analysis of variance revealed that Eastern European inhabitants of Greece scored higher on fringe and assimilation, and lower on lack of interaction compared to Latin American inhabitants of Spain. In addition, for the former group, a mastery motivational climate and autonomy-supportive coaching predicted an integrative identity, whereas for the latter group, the motivational environment did not predict acculturation patterns. The results suggest that sport may serve different acculturation purposes, thus explaining to a degree the lack of consistent results regarding
the integrative role of sport. The study provides preliminary support for the importance of the sport motivational environment for the facilitation of integration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume16
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)178-190
Number of pages13
ISSN1612-197X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • The Faculty of Science - Ethnic and cultural identity, Social integration, Motivational environment, Multicultural groups

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