Game of Life - Social Cohesion

Social cohesion refers to the bonds that bring society together; it is based on material conditions such as employment, income, health, education and housing, which facilitate good relations between and within communities.

These factors form the social fabric of society and indicate social progress. On top of this base comes social order, tolerance and safety creating a harmonious society.

Sport and recreation positively contribute to many of the factors which build social cohesion, such as better physical and mental health, high educational attainment, reducing crime and antisocial behaviour, creating better employment opportunities and earning potential, and ensuring a fit and healthy workforce. See our other sections in this series to further examine the evidence in these areas.

Social exclusion is a result of unequal opportunities and existing inequalities in society. Here sport too can provide help. It can provide a safe environment, the opportunity to develop skill and demonstrate competence, opportunities to create networks, deliver specific moral and economic support, give participants autonomy and control through taking part – something typically lacking in the lives of those who are socially excluded – and can create hope for the future.

This section of the Game of Life explores the causes of social cohesion and exclusion further and reviews sport’s part to play in redressing the balance.

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