Football as a tool for integration

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för samhällsstudier (SS)

Abstract: As the number of refugees coming to Sweden increases the importance of integration becomes greater. As one of the most currently important political topics the integration debate is one that continues to grow. Sports have started to be started to be seen as a possible tool for integration. It offers a meeting place (Fundberg, 2004) where different cultures can meet and interact. However the effectiveness of sports as a tool in the integration process is still largely unknown. One of the most popular sports is football as it is a global game followed and played all around the world. As football is a team sport it makes all the players interact with each other. The objective of this study is to further understand how football affects integration. By interviewing refugee boys more information is gathered and this study can then add to the current debate. The interviewee’s answered questions to evaluate if social or cultural integration took place, as well as how football makes them feel to understand the importance football has for them. This study concludes that Football has been an important factor when it comes to learning the Swedish language. Football also plaid a big role in the social integration of these boys as it gave them friends and a sense of belonging. However cultural integration was limited. The results show clearly that football according to this study has been a useful tool for integration in certain areas. Further research could be made by interviewing more refugees and also by examining other sports to see what the results are there.

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