'Taking the next step': the role of social capital in the development of women's football players in South Australia

Author: Edoardo G.F. Rosso

Rosso, Edoardo G.F., 2011 'Taking the next step': the role of social capital in the development of women's football players in South Australia, Flinders University, School of the Environment

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There are several ways to look at the relationship between social capital and sport. While participation in sport can be seen as a vehicle of social capital accumulation, social capital arising from social relationships within a sporting community can be seen as a factor contributing to the development of players. This thesis explores the relationship between social capital and the development of elite South Australian female football (soccer) players. The central hypothesis is that social capital can play an important role in facilitating or undermining the technical development of players and their career opportunities. The aim of the study is to provide examples of how social capital accruing to both players and sporting organisations can ultimately affect the state output of elite players. The thesis contributes to the body of knowledge on social capital by offering a new perspective on the relationship between social capital and sport and a conceptual framework for further research on social capital as a factor of athletes' development. The project is designed as an intensive research project drawing on the analysis of largely qualitative data. Research methods are both quantitative and qualitative, and include database analysis, semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire survey. This work is of interest to sporting organisations wishing to widen their approach to talent development. In particular, its results can find practical applications in policies to strengthen connections and increase the resourcefulness of relationships across and within sporting institutions in Australia.

Keywords: Social capital,sport,development,career,women's football

Subject: Geography thesis, Population and Human Resources thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2011
School: School of the Environment
Supervisor: Ass. Prof. Clive Forster