Written by 15:31 English

Football as a means of integration

A study focusing on how migrants, specifically the Haitian community, integrate within the local area through football as a space that promotes inclusion, is a proposal of students and researchers from the Schools of Education and Social Science at Universidad de Concepción.

By Noticias UdeC / ignacioabad@udec.cl / Photographs: Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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“Football as an inclusion phenomenon for the Haitian Community of Concepción” is the name of the research project, on which an interdisciplinary team comprising academic staff from the
Schools of Education and Social Science: Miguel Cornejo (lead), Gabriela Martínez, José Miguel Zuñiga, and Ricardo Martínez; and the Anthropology students, Cristian Baeza and María Jesús Torres, along with intercultural consultant, Ernest Noel, are working.

The project is financed by research funds of the UCO 1995 Interculturality Program. Its goals are based on a critical view regarding the weak adjustment and sensitization process of education and culture in Chile with the arrival of the migrant population, identifying football as key when it comes to promoting and generating community, bonds, and networks.

The team, currently in the fieldwork analysis stage, which involves interviews with key agents of the Haitian community, at a local and national level, is targeting this point of contact.

As part of this research work, a first milestone in the project has been reached, which was triggered by the team taking part in the International Sports Sociology Congress, held in Viña del Mar, between November 15th-19th, 2021.

Why was interculturality as a process, important when it comes to considering this research? Miguel Cornejo, Professor, Researcher, and Project Lead says that the demographic increase of the migrant population in recent years, especially Venezuelans and Haitians, has had no
correlation in educational or cultural integration in Chile, “and even less so in the sensitization processes of the receiving population. Football allows players to develop a series of positive
aspects such as teamwork, solidarity, and friendship, among others. Diverse studies show that this sport has allowed people to meet outside their territory, find friends or simply gather to maintain their own cultures among other activities. For this reason, our work looks to ratify or
eliminate the myths of whether football, as a popular game, plays this integrational role, allowing Haitians to be part of the community without any distinctions”, he explains, marking the research’s roadmap.

The study is one of the eight projects financed by the call to funds that the UCO 1995 Intercultu-rality Program’s academic management area raised, to support and strengthen inquiries that promote the production of knowledge on intercultural, territorially-linked dialog, and that have the potential to be disseminated in the different communities.

Last modified: 1 de junio de 2023