Chapter 2. Case Study 2 - Developing Citizenship and Personhood Through a Youth Sports Charity Programme

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


This case focusses on how a charity in the United Kingdom uses youth sport programmes to develop what we understood as an aspiration to sculpt ‘good citizens’ (Foucault, 1991). Specifically, our aim was to qualitatively explore how the charity SportHelp worked with urban socioeconomically disadvantaged young people (predominantly aged 8–18) to, in the words of SportHelp's mission statement, ‘improve their lives’ and help them become ‘better individuals’. 1 More broadly, our research aimed to explore third sector involvement in the shaping of personhood as a means of achieving behavioural change among target social groups (Rose, 1989). Researching this in the context of a complex research site (a charity) entailed making a substantial number of challenging methodological decisions. Though some of these were planned in advance, many others were reactions to unexpected and spontaneous circumstances. In this chapter, we will focus on six areas: adopting a multi-perspectival stakeholder approach; drawing on multiple qualitative methods; the importance of access and flexibility; ethical considerations; reflexivity and the role of the researcher and deciding how to analyse the data. At the end of the chapter, we summarise the two core lessons we learned from conducting research in a non-formal education setting.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRepositioning out-of-school learning
Subtitle of host publicationMethodological challenges and possibilities for researching learning beyond school
EditorsJ. Rose, T. Jay, J. Goodall, L. Mazzoli-Smith, L. Todd
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78769-739-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-78769-740-9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameEmerald Studies in Out of School Learning
PublisherEmerald Insight


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