Frequent calls for sport-for-development (SfD) to be re-oriented towards transformative social change reflect the extent that policies and programmes have instead focused on individualised forms of personal development. However, SfD research has yet to substantially address fundamental ontological assumptions and underlying conceptualisations of transformative social change. To addresses this gap, we consider how Margaret Archer’s Morphogenetic Approach can help explain how transformative social change might occur through SfD activities. Three conceptual contributions are brought into focus: (1) assuming a realist social ontology, (2) making distinctions between structure, culture and agency, and (3) identifying social change as happening across three temporal phases. We conclude by identifying potential benefits and implications of applying the Morphogenetic Approach to consider the potential for SfD to contribute to social change.
Lindsey, I., & Wiltshire, G. (2022). Sport for development and transformative social change: The potential of Margaret Archer’s Morphogenetic Approach to reconceptualise a longstanding problem. Sociology of Sport Journal, 39(1), 78-87. https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2020-0112