Opening the Discussion of Acculturation, Cultural Adaptation, and Acute Cultural Adaptation

Robert Schinke, Laurentian University, Canada

Theme: Social and cultural diversity

Program ID: SYM-08

Presentation: October 3, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Elmwood


Athlete migration against a backdrop of globalized sport culture is not a newly studied phenomenon in sport sociology (see Magee & Sugden, 2002; Maguire, 2004; Weedon, 2011). The experiences of athletes who relocate from their home country to a host country have also been recently considered in sport psychology (see Kontos, 2009; Schinke, Yukelson, Bartolacci, Battochio, & Johnstone, 2011). In addition to the aforementioned, athletes also relocate for shorter lengths of time to seek advanced training opportunities. Terms such as migrants and sojourners pertain to athletes fluidly travelling across national borders to pursue sport opportunities (e.g., footballers playing out of country) (Maguire & Stead, 1996; Magee & Sugden, 2002). As these athletes travel to train and/or compete, they experience unique transitions, via either acculturation or acute cultural adaptation within a host sport context. From this presentation, members of the audience are introduced to the topics of athlete acculturation and acute cultural adaptation, beginning with their theoretical underpinnings. It is proposed that athletes that travel across national borders, and also those from minority cultures encounter significant relocation stress, with this stress requiring personal strategies and effective social support from coaches, teammates, and sport scientists. Given the increasing number of developmental, varsity, national team, and professional athletes that relocate to pursue their sport, this introductory presentation to the broader symposium opens up a broader discussion in terms of what is known of this topic, trajectories for researchers, and practices that sport psychologists and coaches might utilize to support the effective integration of transnational athletes.

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