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‘It’s a long way to the Super League’: The experiences of Australasian professional rugby league migrants in the United Kingdom

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

This article investigates the embodied experiences of a group of professional sports labour migrants whose experiences have largely been ignored by sociological literature: southern hemisphere rugby players playing professional rugby league in the United Kingdom. The migrant pathway from Australasia to the UK is well established. Moreover, rugby league is a sport in which debate concerning the merits of employing labour migrants from Australasia is prevalent and ongoing. The study used interview and questionnaire data to investigate the embodied experiences facing this group of migrant professionals. Migrant experiences prior to migrating were contoured by access to resources and by the formal and informal relationships developed through professional and personal careers. The embodied and complex nature of contractual negotiations is highlighted. The centrality of embodied migrant identity and habitus is noted in relation to acculturation strategies adopted over time and space, both prior to and during a foreign sojourn, in terms of established and outsider groups. The paper also highlights how subgroups within a more general group of labour migrants can emerge. Furthermore, the complex influence of personal and professional relationships was found to be both enabling and constraining. These differences between subgroups are considered in light of previous work on acculturation strategies and the existential nature of migration. Future research requirements in the sports labour migration field are suggested.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Vol/bind49
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)707-727
Antal sider21
ISSN1012-6902
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2014
Eksternt udgivetJa

    Forskningsområder

  • embodied experiences, figurations, globalization, labour migration, rugby league

ID: 143916566