Assessing social integration of immigrant background youth in Oslo area football clubs
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This paper aims to assess the social integration of immigrant background youth relative to native background youth in Oslo area football clubs. To answer research questions, a multi-indicator questionnaire was designed based on Hartmut Esser’s four dimensions of social integration. This questionnaire was sent electronically by NFF Oslo to 16-19-year-old football players in Oslo and Viken counties. A total of 198 responses were analyzed. Findings from the study revealed that native background participants were slightly more socially integrated in Oslo area football clubs than immigrant background participants in the identification dimension only. Intergenerational differences in social integration were not found to be significant among immigrant background respondents. Results also suggest that age, self-perceived football skill level and being male were associated with higher social integration scores for both immigrant background and native background respondents, while religiosity, frequency of participation, duration of membership, socioeconomic status and some recruitment methods had very dissimilar associations with social integration scores for native background and immigrant background respondents. This study has contributed to improving techniques used to measure social integration. It has also shed light on potential barriers to social integration in sports clubs and best recruitment practices for immigrant background youth.