Exploring the relationship between social class and sport event volunteering

John Hayton, Milly Blundell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


There is a dearth of research that examines the relationship between sport event volunteering and social class. This article contributes to this gap by exploring the social class of volunteers involved in the running of a series of major international field hockey events held between 2015 and 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. The authors draw upon longitudinal research that utilises demographic information and qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with 46 event volunteers. To gauge the social composition of this volunteer pool, the authors first discern the social class categories of the study’s participants.

Following analysis of the qualitative data, the authors then examine how the interplay between social class and Pierre Bourdieu’s principal forms of cultural, economic and social capital shapes the volunteer workforce, and how they might operate to inhibit under-represented groups from volunteering. In parallel to the class analysis of the participants, the authors provide novel insights into the organisational amassing of an event volunteer workforce. The article concludes by considering the implications of the nexus between social class, capitals, and inclusion within event volunteering and its management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-115
Number of pages24
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number1
Early online date3 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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