Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



A consequence of systemic racism in the United States is low-wealth minority neighborhoods that are segregated from the rest of society and whose residents have less opportunities for social mobility than the general population. These neighborhoods often become the target of post-racial neoliberal projects of community development that emphasize individual development and achievement, or assisting residents with “escaping” their community as a means of achieving social mobility. One of the major forms of development is sport for development, aimed at youth in low-wealth minority neighborhoods. Here I call for a new narrative of community development that is critical, taking into account the significance of race at the individual and structural level for shaping the everyday experiences of residents of low-wealth neighborhoods. This new narrative should be asset-based, and make use of critical race concepts, such as community cultural wealth, and critical models, such as the Black Organizational Autonomy model, to reframe community development as a process of resistance capable of transforming both individuals and communities. My case study of the Pearson Youth Alliance football and soccer programs provides an example of the critical praxis of sport for development in a low-wealth minority neighborhood in the southern United States. I elaborate on this new narrative of development, especially the ways residents of the Pearson neighborhood perceive the work of the Pearson Youth Alliance and frame it as an ongoing project of resistance to manifestations of systemic racism.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Martin, Lori L.

Included in

Sociology Commons