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Pride of the People: Fijian Rugby Labour Migration and Collective Identity

Kanemasu, Yoko and Molnar, Gyozo ORCID: (2012) Pride of the People: Fijian Rugby Labour Migration and Collective Identity. International review for the sociology of sport, 48 (6). pp. 720-735. ISSN 1012-6902

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Rugby is a sport that has given Fiji international recognition. The professionalisation of rugby has led to a growing number of elite players emigrating from Fiji – often temporarily but sometimes permanently – to metropolitan countries, with an estimated 450 athletes currently involved in foreign competitions. Whilst Fijians have a long history of migration to metropolitan societies, the recent global dispersion of rugby players has added new dimensions and complexities. This article intends to shed light upon this migratory phenomenon by exploring what it means for these Fijians to ply their trade in foreign leagues. Based on semi-structured interviews, the article examines the experiences of Fijian players who are currently or have previously been contracted by metropolitan rugby clubs and what these experiences mean to them regarding their sense of collective identity and pride, especially in the context of politico-economic disparities between Fiji and the host countries. In doing so, particular attention is paid to the voices and agency of those athletes who claim rugby migration as a space for counter-hegemonic collective self-expression. The article thus seeks to contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of the relationship between sports labour migration and collective local identification and resistance in an increasingly globalised world.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: counter-hegemony, Fiji, identity, migration, rugby
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Depositing User: Gyozo Molnar
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2014 14:10
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:03

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