Following the success of its all-male refugee football team, the Italian voluntary-based association Liberi Nantes created a touch rugby team as a pilot project aimed at involving female forced migrants. Initially set up as an all-woman activity to provide a less intimidating environment, the touch rugby group was later turned into a mixedsex team. While potentially enabling transformative experiences and generating opportunities for challenging gender stereotypes, the mixed-gender character of the touch rugby provision also served broader objectives within Liberi Nantes’ mission. Focusing on the accounts of the activists and volunteers involved in the project, this paper investigates the practical and symbolic reasons for the strategic use of mixed-gender sport and its implications. Notably, by analysing the development of the touch rugby team, we highlight how its mixed-gender nature contributes to nourishing a wider rhetoric of social mixing and celebration of diversity, in which Liberi Nantes’ identity is embedded.

Mixed-sex in sport for development: a pragmatic and symbolic device. The case of touch rugby for forced migrants in Rome

PIZZOLATI, Micol;
2016-01-01

Abstract

Following the success of its all-male refugee football team, the Italian voluntary-based association Liberi Nantes created a touch rugby team as a pilot project aimed at involving female forced migrants. Initially set up as an all-woman activity to provide a less intimidating environment, the touch rugby group was later turned into a mixedsex team. While potentially enabling transformative experiences and generating opportunities for challenging gender stereotypes, the mixed-gender character of the touch rugby provision also served broader objectives within Liberi Nantes’ mission. Focusing on the accounts of the activists and volunteers involved in the project, this paper investigates the practical and symbolic reasons for the strategic use of mixed-gender sport and its implications. Notably, by analysing the development of the touch rugby team, we highlight how its mixed-gender nature contributes to nourishing a wider rhetoric of social mixing and celebration of diversity, in which Liberi Nantes’ identity is embedded.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/47767
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