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Fitness philanthropy: exploring a movement at the nexus of leisure, charity and events


Palmer, C and Filo, K and Hookway, N, Fitness philanthropy: exploring a movement at the nexus of leisure, charity and events, Sociology of Sport Journal, 39, (1) pp. 70-77. ISSN 0741-1235 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1123/ssj.2020-0176


Sport is increasingly being used by individuals, charities, and corporate sponsors as a means of acquiring donors and fundraisers to support a variety of social and health causes. This paper examines five key features of fitness philanthropy that when considered together provide new sociological insight into a unique social phenomenon. These are: (a) peer-to-peer giving, (b) social media accounts of embodied philanthropy, (c) community connection and making a difference, (d) fitness philanthropy as social capital, and (e) charity and corporate giving. The significance of the paper is threefold. First, it highlights the ways in which fitness philanthropy points to the changing nature of sport, leisure, and physical activity, whereby fundraising is a key motivation for participation. Second, it examines the types of "empathy paths" created by fitness philanthropy with its emphasis on the body, social media, and peer-to-peer forms of organizational giving. Third, the paper seeks to answer critical questions about fitness philanthropy in the context of neoliberalism and "caring capitalism." Bringing these themes into dialogue with broader research on the intersections between sport and charity adds to the body of sociological research on sport, philanthropy, well-being, and civic engagement by addressing novel conceptual frameworks for the embodied expression of these concerns.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fitness philanthropy, neoliberalism, fundraising, embodied philanthropy, social capital
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Sport, exercise and recreation
Objective Field:Organised sports
UTAS Author:Palmer, C (Professor Catherine Palmer)
UTAS Author:Hookway, N (Dr Nicholas Hookway)
ID Code:145442
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-07-21
Last Modified:2022-06-20

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