A Postcolonial Approach to Understanding Sport-Based Empowerment of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Zambia: The Case of the Cultural Philosophy of Ubuntu

Oscar Mwaanga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article focuses on the findings of a small-scale qualitative study that sought to explore how local sub-Saharan cultural discourses interface with dominant western sport for development and peace (SDP) discourses in order to facilitate or inhibit sport empowerment for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Underpinned by postcolonial theory and empowerment theory, the study set out to investigate the sport empowerment of PLWHA as colonized “others,” within the context of the indigenous (African) cultural philosophy of Ubuntu. Data are drawn from 23 one-to-one in-depth, semi-structured interviews that were conducted with participants of an SDP sport-based program entitled Positive and Kicking (P&K). Fieldwork observations and documentary evidence are used as supporting data. Findings provide insight into the way in which Ubuntu was central to the development of sport empowerment for PLWHA. In particular, participants identified social connectedness and mutual support as vital to their collective empowerment negotiations. Data analysis demonstrates the importance of centralizing cultural discourses in order to achieve locally meaningful development. KEYWORDS: postcolonial, HIV/AIDS, qualitative, religion, spirituality, sport
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)173
Number of pages191
JournalJournal of Disability and Religion
Volume18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2014

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Zambia
Sports
empowerment
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
AIDS
HIV
discourse
peace
Spirituality
Negotiating
Religion
philosophy
Power (Psychology)
AIDS/HIV
Philosophy
Ubuntu
Empowerment
spirituality
data analysis
Interviews

Cite this

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abstract = "This article focuses on the findings of a small-scale qualitative study that sought to explore how local sub-Saharan cultural discourses interface with dominant western sport for development and peace (SDP) discourses in order to facilitate or inhibit sport empowerment for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Underpinned by postcolonial theory and empowerment theory, the study set out to investigate the sport empowerment of PLWHA as colonized “others,” within the context of the indigenous (African) cultural philosophy of Ubuntu. Data are drawn from 23 one-to-one in-depth, semi-structured interviews that were conducted with participants of an SDP sport-based program entitled Positive and Kicking (P&K). Fieldwork observations and documentary evidence are used as supporting data. Findings provide insight into the way in which Ubuntu was central to the development of sport empowerment for PLWHA. In particular, participants identified social connectedness and mutual support as vital to their collective empowerment negotiations. Data analysis demonstrates the importance of centralizing cultural discourses in order to achieve locally meaningful development. KEYWORDS: postcolonial, HIV/AIDS, qualitative, religion, spirituality, sport",
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