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Journal article

A community built on the pond: Social cohesion, sport tourism and the World Pond Hockey Championships

1 Jan 2008

Neoliberalism and globalization have contributed to an environment of economic uncertainty in rural Canada, raising concern for the social well-being of its residents. Despite immense challenges, many rural communities possess positive elements of social cohesion that can be used by the community in the pursuit of their communal objectives. This thesis uses social cohesion as a theoretical framework to examine this rural social environment, its relationship with sport tourism and sport's ability to foster social cohesion. Using Plaster Rock, New Brunswick and the World Pond Hockey Championships (WPHC) as a case study, this thesis broadens social cohesion research to include tourists and other visitors to rural regions. In doing so, this thesis demonstrates how the social potential of sport creates a community around the event with its own social cohesion. The residents of the host community participate in the event's activities, which contribute to the achievement the common goals of all stakeholders, local and visiting. This research begins to examine the unique social environment which exists in many rural communities, as well contributes to a better understanding of sport and sport tourism's ability to foster social cohesion in these communities.

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