SI 8(3) - Exploring the Contested Notion of Social Inclusion and Gender Inclusivity within eSport Spaces.pdf (298.95 kB)
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Exploring the contested notion of social inclusion and gender inclusivity within esport spaces

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2020, 10:20 by Emily HaydayEmily Hayday, Holly CollisonHolly Collison

With an emphasis on virtual engagement, creativity and diverse competitive platforms, esport is being explored as a new activity to achieve development outcomes within the Sport for Development (SfD) movement (Kidd, 2008). Research has shown the potential of esport to provide opportunities for social interaction, bonding and building social capital (Trepte, Reinecke & Juechems, 2012). This exploratory research, conducted in 2019, examines the current esport landscape and utility of esport as a space to enact social inclusion and more specifically, in-line with SfD agendas and goals, positive experiences for women and girls. Three interactive focus groups were conducted in the UK and USA (n=65) involving key stakeholders, including game publishers, SfD organisations, esport teams, tournament organisers and gamers. Supplementary interviews (n=16) were conducted to allow for richer accounts and perspectives to be examined. Findings exposed the contested notion of social inclusion within online gaming communities as evidenced by the dominant masculine dynamics of digital spaces. Consistently those engaged in esport claimed social inclusion and inclusivity were the most significant features and offering to the SfD movement. Yet, simultaneously the same voices exposed toxicity in the form of gender inequality and discrimination as the challenge embedded within esport among its rapidly growing participants and spectators. This paper empirically examines gender dynamics within esport spaces, using Bailey’s social inclusion theory and Lefebvre’s spatial theory, and critically presents new opportunities to the field of SfD.

Funding

Loughborough University London’s Joint Fund

History

School

  • Loughborough University London

Published in

Social Inclusion

Volume

8

Issue

3

Pages

197 - 208

Publisher

Cogitatio Press

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© Emily Jane Hayday, Holly Collison

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Cogitatio Press under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

12/05/2020

Publication date

2020-08-17

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

2183-2803

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Emily Hayday Deposit date: 21 May 2020