An empirical use of organizational habitus and ethnography to explore how sport cultures are negotiated

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In this paper we analyse cultural processes through an alternative and combined theoretical and methodological framework. We use the distinctive theoretical lens of organizational habitus to explore the negotiation of culture within a sports charity. Our contribution here is to provide analysis borne both out of theoretical novelty and by adopting a practical application of this in context. Ethnographic data collection drew upon several tools which upon a retrospective analysis took place. Findings suggest that the cultural and expressive elements prioritized by the collective of individuals enhance practices which are deemed important, while resisting practices that are deemed to be incompatible with a perceived worldview concerning the operations of the charity. This novel lens, considered from our emic perspective has the potential to enhance our understanding of organizational culture, leading to practical, context-appropriate findings that reveal how sometimes innocuous aspects of organizational life can influence collective action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalSport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics
Issue number0
Early online date13 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished online - 13 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Bourdieu
  • Sport development
  • culture
  • ethnography
  • organizational habitus


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