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Title: Sport clubs, migrant integration and building social capital : a comparative study of three North Korean football clubs in the UK and South Korea
Author: Kim, Young-Hyuk
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 9660
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis seeks to understand how participation in voluntary football clubs can help North Korean refugees develop social capital and become better integrated into different societies. It explores these questions through three case studies of voluntary football clubs, two in South Korea and one in the UK, in which North Koreans participate. The case studies involved in-depth interviews and numerous months of participant observation at each club. The research was conducted using a critical realist perspective and contributes to the literature on migrants, social networks, social capital, sport for social capital, identity and integration. Currently, the literature concerning North Korean migrants primarily focuses on North Koreans in South Korea. Further, the literature on social capital fails to provide a consistent definition of social capital. When social capital is studied within voluntary sports organisations, its ambiguous definition leads to diverging findings on social capital and the role of sport in promoting social integration. This thesis understands social capital to mean outcome achieved through a social network. The study explores how strong and weak social networks were created at each club, and advances a framework for understanding why North Koreans exchanged a variety of different forms of social capital, which depended on their relative social network formation. This thesis finds that the best explanation for why we see different levels and types of social capital exchanges is due to the willingness of members to help each other; the specific needs of club members; and, the possession and circulation of 'tradable resources'. When these three factors occur within social networks, social capital exchanges, or outcomes, can take place. The thesis advances knowledge in several ways. First, the thesis provides an original study of UK-based North Koreans, a hitherto under-researched group. Second, the comparative study of North Korean refugees in the UK and in South Korea is novel, and enables stronger conclusions to be drawn on the integration and social capital of this population group within 'host' societies. Third, the thesis makes a significant contribution to the literature on how football clubs, or in general, voluntary sports organisations, act as social networks to provide social capital. A particular focus here is on the differences in social capital between mixed or unmixed football clubs, and on whether socially diverse or homogeneous settings are best for the social integration of migrants. Fourth, the study contributes to the social capital literature. It advances a systematic analytical framework for understanding social capital exchanges among refugee groups; this framework can be tested and applied in other contexts. The framework also contributes to the critical development and integration of the themes of trust, reciprocity, bounded solidarity, value introjection, and tradable resources with respect to social capital. The concept of 'bonded-bridgers' is advanced to highlight the role of specific individuals in producing both bonding and bridging social capital within this migrant population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified ; North Korean refugees ; North Korean football club ; Social capital ; Social networks ; Voluntary sports club ; Bounded-bridgers ; Football