Sport for refugee youth in a new society: the role of acculturation in sport for developing and peace programming

  • Jae-Pil Ha
  • Alexis Lyras


With the growing recognition of sport as a vehicle for development and peace, there has been a considerable increase in the use of sport for development programs and initiatives targeting underprivileged youth in the most at-risk areas of the world (refugee youth in this study). Little evidence and information, however, is available on how sport can be utilised as a tool for refugee youth when they move to a host/or new society. As relocation projects for refugee youth continue to increase around the world, it is critical for stakeholders of the Sport for Development and Peace (SFDP) movement to understand the initial value of their programs for integrating refugee youth in a new society. Given that relocation of refugee youth is strongly associated with the process of acculturation, this article attempts to explain the construct of acculturation within the framework of the SFDP movement and how SFDP programs can be utilised as a vehicle for refugee youth in acculturating into a host country. Based on the acculturation literature, recommendations for SFDP programs for refugee youth in a new country are provided.

Keywords: Acculturation; Sport for Development and Peace (SFDP); Refugee youth; New society

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, 2013, 35(2): 121-140

Author Biographies

Jae-Pil Ha
Department of Health, Human Performance and Sport Management, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Arkansas, United States of America
Alexis Lyras
Department of Government, Georgetown University, Washington DC, United States of America

print ISSN: 0379-9069