'The Downfall of a Man is Not the End of His Life': Navigating Involuntary Immobility in Ghanaian Football

Nienke Van der Meij, Paul Darby, Katie/K Liston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The burgeoning number of football academies in Africa are widely understood by young aspiring players and their family members as a conduit for transnational migration and a professional career in the game. However, for the vast majority of academy recruits the stark reality is involuntary immobility. While there is a growing literature on African football migration, the experiences of young players from the continent who are unable to translate their academy training into a professional career overseas has been neglected. This article addresses this lacuna by focusing on how this process is experienced and navigated by a cohort of former Ghanaian academy players. These experiences are positioned within the context of the intergenerational contract, a pervasive social norm in West Africa that places considerable expectations on young adults to reciprocate materially to their household. The analyses here are based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Ghana totalling 12 months, conducted between January 2008 and July 2015.
LanguageEnglish
Pages183-194
JournalSociology of Sport Journal
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

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academy
professional career
inter-generational contract
migration
social norm
West Africa
Ghana
overseas
family member
young adult
experience

Keywords

  • Ghana
  • football
  • social navigation
  • intergenerational contract
  • involuntary immobility

Cite this

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'The Downfall of a Man is Not the End of His Life': Navigating Involuntary Immobility in Ghanaian Football. / Van der Meij, Nienke; Darby, Paul; Liston, Katie/K.

In: Sociology of Sport Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2, 01.06.2017, p. 183-194.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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