Irish diaspora and sporting cultures of conflict, stability and unity: analysing the power politics of community development, resistance and disempowerment through a case study comparison of Benny Lynch and 'The Glasgow Effect'

Christina Milarvie Quarrell, John Davis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Drawing on writing and research that considers philosophically astute, intellectually radical and culturally nuanced approaches to community development in Scotland and the USA. This chapter: considers the power politics of community work in Glasgow; highlights the importance of culture, sport, arts, and traditions in both Scotland and the USA; illustrates the significance of indigenous knowledge in Canadian and analyses the stigmatisation of some culturally significant activities (e.g. The Benny Lynch Statue Campaign and Black African American community development in the USA) as a basis for community based action; and explores how culturally important activities and local history can serve as the basis for personal development, social change, and community unification.

In so do doing, it explores the insights that emerge when we place research, e.g. the Glasgow Effect report, within the historical context of assets-based community development in Scotland and The USA and explains how such a comparative analysis enables us to understand the fluid and essential role that culture plays in local community development. In particular this chapter considers tensions between stability and conflict in community work and highlights that radical community self-empowerment that seeks to confront decades of oppression will also bring with it processes of stigmatisation that seek to shame and control populations. The chapter concludes that whilst culture is an essential component in local capacity building, by taking an international perspective and comparing Scotland to the USA, we can demonstrate that culture is always political and that cultures of community development can never be separated from local and national power politics that for decades have been associated with disempowerment, oppression and the suppression of radical minority ethnic voices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulture, Community, and Development
EditorsMark Brennan, Rhonda Phillips
Place of Publication[S.I.]
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2019


  • Irish disapora
  • sporting cultures
  • Glasgow effect

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