Social Integration of Ethiopian and Eritrean Women in Switzerland through Informal Sport Setting

This study investigates the role of informal sport setting (self-organized and not voluntary sport club) in the social integration of Ethiopian and Eritrean women in Swiss society. Ager & and Strang, (2004) indicator of integration framework is used to examine how social connection dynamic serves as a facilitator of social integration. Thematic analysis (Braun, Clarke, Weate, 2016) was applied to analysis the semi-structured interviews and focus groups discussion (n=12, 18-51 years old) to understand the interplay between participation and social integration. The findings indicate that such setting has become crucial sphere for establishing rebuilding social contact, support system and place of belonging (i.e. maintaining and celebrating one’s cultural identity). The social contact in particular has strengthened their integration within the migrant community as well as with the local community. Furthermore, it also facilitates access to useful information, resources and service regarding housing, education, employment and health services. However, it is important to note that the social integration into the local community in setting with is rather weak and limited, in some cases one-sided. Racism and discrimination on and off the field of sport continue to intensify existing social boundaries.