Ethnic persistence: towards understanding the lived experiences of pacific Island athletes in the national rugby league

Panapa, Lameko and Phillips, Murray (2014) Ethnic persistence: towards understanding the lived experiences of pacific Island athletes in the national rugby league. International Journal of the History of Sport, 31 11: 1374-1388. doi:10.1080/09523367.2014.924105


Author Panapa, Lameko
Phillips, Murray
Title Ethnic persistence: towards understanding the lived experiences of pacific Island athletes in the national rugby league
Journal name International Journal of the History of Sport   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1743-9035
0952-3367
Publication date 2014-07-24
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09523367.2014.924105
Open Access Status
Volume 31
Issue 11
Start page 1374
End page 1388
Total pages 15
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract The emergence of Pacific Island (PI) ethnicities in the National Rugby League (NRL) over the past 18 years is widely acknowledged. At present, participants who have PI or Maori heritage represent 38% of the NRL's senior roster plus 37% at the National Youth Competition (NYC) level. This paper will examine the complex personal and ethnic biographies, and the process through which these athletes create their identities as a minority group within the culture of professional rugby league. In particular, the theoretical concept of ethnic persistence provides a way to understand the identity formation of PI athletes currently in the NRL. Rather than being assimilated into Western culture, the cultural discourses that are inextricably linked to ethnic PI identities are crucial to understanding the experiences of footballers in the NRL. The experiences of the footballers, characterised by a lack of understanding and acknowledgement of PI traditions, suggest that national identities, rivalries and conflict that have shaped the history of these island nations are overridden in favour of common traits, experiences and heritage.
Keyword Ethnic cultural identity
National Rugby League
Pacific Island athletes
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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