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Book Launch and Social Event: Social Capital and Sport Organisations

Venue: Birkbeck Clore Management Centre

What is social capital and how is it connected to sport? What is it like to be a member of a sports club and what role do sports clubs play in society? What should politicians, policymakers and practitioners do in relation to sport and social capital?

Please join us on Monday 14 November as Dr Richard Tacon, Senior Lecturer in Management at Birkbeck, discusses these and other questions from his recent book, Social Capital and Sport Organisations, with Dr. Pam Yeow, Reader in Management at Birkbeck.

This also serves as the annual Autumn Term event for Birkbeck’s sport management alumni. Please come along and join us – there will be plenty of time to chat and drink after the book discussion.


6.00pm  Welcome and Introductions

6.10pm  Dr Richard Tacon (author), in conversation with Dr Pam Yeow (discussant)

6.40pm  Q&A from the audience

7.00pm  Drinks Reception in the Clore Management 

8.00pm  END 


Book abstract 

Drawing on primary research in voluntary sports clubs in the UK and secondary analysis of the wider international literature on social capital, Social Capital and Sport Organisations focuses on the micro-processes of social capital development and how they play out in specific social settings. In so doing, it adds to existing research by developing a rich, contextualised, process-based view of social capital in action.

The empirical core of the book draws on ethnographic observation over 18 months at voluntary sports clubs in the UK, including in-depth interviews with sports club members and organisers. The book explicitly seeks to set this empirical work in a wider international context, by drawing on studies of social capital and sport organisations in a range of countries, including Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, the USA and Vanuatu.

The book is aimed at researchers, practitioners, policymakers and anyone else with an interest in sport and social capital, as well as those with a wider interest in the sociology of sport, sport development, sport policy and social networks. Social Capital and Sport Organisations is published by Routledge and is available to buy now.

About the Author

Dr Richard Tacon is Senior Lecturer in Management at Birkbeck, University of London. Richard joined Birkbeck in 2012 and is currently Deputy Head of the Department of Management, where he teaches modules in Sport Policy and Development, Sport and Society and Qualitative Research Methods. His research interests range from the processes and practices of sport governance, through social capital and social networks, to the social impact of sport and the meaning of work. His most recent research projects are an interview-based study of the ‘dark side’ of fantasy football and a video-based ethnography of the documentation of Bronze Age rock art in Western Sweden.

About the Discussant

Dr Pam Yeow is Reader in Management at Birkbeck, University of London. Pam joined Birkbeck in 2016 as Programme Director of the Central Saint Martins-Birkbeck MBA. This programme is now in its fifth year and has been featured in numerous broadsheets and was shortlisted for innovation in business education by QS-Reimagine Education in 2018. Pam was appointed Assistant Dean - External Engagement in 2020 and is head of the newly established Centre for Professional Development within the School of Business, Economics and Informatics. Pam’s current research is on rethinking ethical consumerism and she has been funded by the Eastern ARC, among other funding bodies, to better understand the role of the householder in effecting sustainable change.


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