Barriers to student engagement in clubs and societies: a social capital perspective

Keywords: students' union, student engagement, social capital, sports clubs, societies


In 2018/19, John Moores Students’ Union embarked on a ‘ground clearing’ exercise to determine the barriers students face when engaging, or trying to engage, with a student-led sports club or society.  An online survey to students revealed several barriers: difficulty in ‘fitting in’, costs, time, geography, and communication.  This paper reflects on the outcomes of the survey and offers an interpretive lens based on the ideas of social capital, as espoused by Pierre Bourdieu and Robert D. Putnam. 

Research In Practice