Challenge of Sport Towards Social Inclusion and Awareness-Raising Against Any Discrimination

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Sport presents itself as a social configuration that enhances social inclusion by promoting tolerance, respect for others, cooperation, loyalty and friendship, and values associated with fair play, the most important ethical principles of sport. However, intolerance and exclusion can also be expressed in sport, certainly even more so the bigger the social inequalities and the ethnic, religious, gender, disability, and sexual orientation prejudices are in society. The processes of social exclusion, integration, and inclusion are research areas in the social sciences with consolidated knowledge, namely in the study of the problems of poverty, social inequalities, racial and ethnic discrimination, disability, and education. However, it is necessary to discuss the existing theoretical approaches and conceptions seen as explanatory principles of the reality of these fields of analysis, look at how they can frame the reality on the sports field, and then confirm them through empirical research in order to produce knowledge based on the reality of social facts. Despite the broad consensus on the potential of sport in promoting social inclusion, in this paper I stress that this potential can only become real if the orientation of sport includes strategies aimed at achieving these goals. I intend to show how the –social issue‖ in the field of sports has gained relevance in the institutional context, and thereby a new field of research for the social science of sport has been opened and needs to be deepened.

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