Analyzing social integration of young immigrants in sports clubs

Adler Zwahlen, Jenny; Nagel, Siegfried; Schlesinger, Torsten (2018). Analyzing social integration of young immigrants in sports clubs. European journal for sport and society : EJSS, 15(1), pp. 22-42. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/16138171.2018.1440950

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Integrating immigrants into the social environments of voluntary sports clubs (VSC) is a key component along the path to a varied sports landscape and to social sectors beyond sports. However, there has been no analysis tool to adequately assess the social integration in VSCs of people from a migration background. Thus, studies have produced an ambivalent picture of how well integrated immigrant club members are. The aim of this study was to develop a suitable analysis tool for measuring social integration in Swiss sports clubs. Immigrant and native members (n = 298 and n = 487) were surveyed using an analysis tool based on the concept of Esser (2004). The tool included 15 items to cover four dimensions: placement, identification, interaction and culturation. A confirmatory factor analysis produced satisfactory results (χ2/df = 2.19, RMSEA = .06, SRMR = .07, CFI = .92; based on the sample of immigrants). Also, findings referring to reliability and validity demonstrated that the attempt to apply Esser’s (2009) four-dimensional concept of social integration in the setting of VSCs was initially successful. Additional validations of the measuring concept were carried out with both migration status and immigrant generation status. We recommend further developments of the analysis tool to increase practicality and accuracy of measurement. KEYWORDS: Voluntary sports clubs; social integration; confirmatory factor analysis; Switzerland; migration background

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Science III

UniBE Contributor:

Adler Zwahlen, Jenny and Nagel, Siegfried


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Taylor & Francis




Jenny Adler Zwahlen

Date Deposited:

15 Mar 2018 09:21

Last Modified:

03 Nov 2019 22:30

Publisher DOI:





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