1st Edition

Sport Migrants, Precarity and Identity Brazilian Footballers in Central and Eastern Europe

By José Hildo de Oliveira Filho Copyright 2024
    134 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book takes a close look at the experiences of migrant athletes, their precarious careers, and at what this can tell us about wider themes of globalisation, identity, race, gender, and the body.

    Based on in-depth ethnographic research on male Brazilian footballers and futsal players working in Central and Eastern Europe, this book helps to fill gaps in previous research on sports migration and global sports labor markets. This book uses life-history interviews to reveal how race, gender, and class are articulated in the everyday experiences of migrant athletes; how they express their religious affiliations; and how they navigate the relationships with injuries and pain that are characteristic of precarious athletic careers. This book considers the transnational networks that are essential in sustaining international athletic labor flows and the role that borders and emotions play in the lives of sports migrants and also the agency that migrant athletes can have in issues such as player development and retention.

    Presenting a more nuanced, ground-level perspective on sports migration and the sociological dialogue between identity, culture, and the body, this book is fascinating reading for anybody with an interest in the socio-cultural study of sport, migration, globalization, or global inequalities.

    1. What Comes After Hope? 

    Part I: Transnationalism, Nationalism, and ‘Race’ 

    2. Sports Migrants in ‘Central’ and ‘Eastern’ Europe: Beyond the Existing Narratives

    3. Sports Migration, ‘Brazilianness’, and ‘Race’: The ‘Beautiful Game’ and its Dilemmas 

    Part II: Religion, Gender, and Agency 

    4. Athletic Migrant Religiosities and the Making of ‘Respectable Men’ 

    5. Masculinities, Sports Migration, and Neoliberalism: The Pains of Migration 

    Part III: Final Thoughts 

    6. On Athletes’ Narratives and Contemporary Sports


    José Hildo de Oliveira Filho received his PhD from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in Prague (CUNI). He is a member of ISA (International Sociological Association), ABA (Brazilian Anthropological Association), and the AAA (American Anthropological Association).