Interscholastic Sport Teams as the Nexus for a Sense of Community in Rural Settings

By Michael Lukkarinen.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this study was to examine the overall sense of community (SOC) experienced by citizens of Rose City, IL, in relation to their community as a whole (OGSOC) and in relation to the interscholastic girls basketball program (OCIGB). This was accomplished by distributing and collecting questionnaires in the places most frequented by the people of Rose City. The questionnaire consisted of three sections beginning with an open ended question that asked respondents to list 3-5 items that came to mind when thinking of Rose City. This information was coded and tabulated to look for common themes emerging from the responses (Schwandt, 2001). This section concluded by asking respondents for demographic information. Sections two (OGSOC) and three (OCIGB) made use of an adapted version of Chavis, Hogge, McMillan and Wandersman’s (1986) 12-item (short form) Sense of Community Index (SCI). Time was also invested in conversing with a variety of citizens to gauge their perspectives. The most relevant themes to emerge from the research can be grouped into three areas. First, the open-ended question revealed strong ties specific to aspects of the community. Second, the scores on the SCI for both the OGSOC and OCIGB were nearly identical. Third, a significant relationship between several variables emerged with both the OGSOC and OCIGB.

Keywords: Community, Interscholastic Sport, Rural Towns

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, February 2015, pp.1-5. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 442.652KB).

Dr. Michael Lukkarinen

Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL, USA