On 17 and 18 September, the department of Cultural Antropology organises a conference called ‘Making Space and Sports: gender, religious and ethnic diversities’. The conference is part of the research project ‘Van voetbalvrouwen tot vrouwenvoetbal’ (From Football Wives to Women’s Football: an Interdisciplinary Research into the Societal Impact of Women’s Football in The Netherlands).
Themes and questions
The department explore questions like: How are urban spaces created by citizens, sports organizers, corporations, governments? How do sports, gender, class, race, ethnicity, and religion intersect in urban spaces? And how is space and sport gendered and racialised? Where and when are (sporting) spaces conceptualised as 'private' or as 'public', and how can we understand their overlap?
Urban space is an important topic of public and political debates, with specific attention to ‘problematic’ neighbourhoods with high rates of unemployment, poverty, criminality and (religious) extremism, where these problems are often linked to multiculturalism, gender and ethnicity. Sports programs and sporting spaces are one ‘solution’ municipalities and social workers design for (male) youngsters in these neighbourhood.
Gendered, self-organised spaces
Many (sporting) spaces, however, are also created and designed bottom-up by citizens themselves, especially spaces used by girls. The conference will specifically focus on these gendered self-organised spaces, on the street, on neighbourhood playgrounds and in community organised activities. With insights from urban and cultural anthropology, gender studies, philosophy, geography, and race and ethnicity studies we aim at a critical, interdisciplinary and intersectional discussion of sports and spaces, in relation to gender, religious, ethnic and other diversities.