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Muslim women and the evolving nature of Australian sport


Maxwell, H and Taylor, T and Foley, C, Muslim women and the evolving nature of Australian sport, Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand 18th Annual Conference, 28-30 November, 2012, Sydney, Australia (2012) [Conference Extract]

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The research examines both the challenges faced and the changes made by Australian community sport organisations in overcoming the exclusion of Muslim women and encouraging their participation. In the last decade the process of engaging Muslim women in sport and physical education in non-Islamic countries has been the subject of a growing body of international research (Ahmad, 2011; Benn, Dagkas & Jawad, 2011; Mccue & Kourouche, 2010; Walseth, 2006). This study takes this work a step further by examining how three sport settings located in a large Australian city, embraced cultural change and developed more inclusive community sport environments through social inclusion facilitation. The theoretical frame employed is derived from Bailey's {2005) social inclusion framework and encompasses four dimensions: spatial; relational; functional and power.

The research indicates that organisational practices and policies facilitate social inclusion in a number of ways, including: the engagement of Islamic families through cultural intermediaries; by supporting Islamic practices through means such as the provision of gendered space and by encouraging Muslim women to adopt Islamic sportswear; encouraging Muslim women to challenge cultural norms; facilitating Muslim women's leadership; and strengthening and sustaining social bonds. These practices, while often easing the social inclusion of some Muslim women, at times also inhibit inclusion and even contribute to the exclusion of less devout and non-Muslim women, if the social identity of these women is not also acknowledged and reinforced. The paper illustrates the potential for the social inclusion of Muslim women into mainstream community sport settings through the development of cultural awareness, social bonds and changes to the cultural profile and practices in community sport settings which are also shown to challenge racism, stereotypes and lslamophobia.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Muslim women, Australian sport
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social theory
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Sport, exercise and recreation
Objective Field:Organised sports
UTAS Author:Maxwell, H (Dr Hazel Maxwell)
ID Code:102424
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2015-08-20
Last Modified:2015-08-20
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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