In the study by BRIO, the Brussels Information, Documentation and Research Centre, a distinction is made between a local Dutch-language youth association (Jeugd NL), a local Dutch-language sports club (Sport NL) and the municipal playground (Speelplein). In a youth movement, knowledge of the language is important in order to be able to participate in activities, in a sports club sport dominates and in local playgrounds some municipalities pay extra attention to supporting the use of Dutch.
See table: Participation in local activities by families with children according to their home language
The research shows that youth movements have the most homogenous audience: most members come from monolingual Dutch-speaking families, belong to the middle or upper class in terms of diploma level, and mostly go to Dutch-speaking schools. Other children find it more difficult to become involved in these youth movements. The low participation rate of French-speaking people can, however, partly be explained by the fact that they join French-speaking associations. Young people from non-Dutch/french-speaking families take the least part in local association life. They are completely absent from the youth movements. The composition of the playground is the most balanced.
International research shows that it is mainly children from the middle class who participate in club life. Traditional youth clubs even have a “hereditary” character, with the parents of members also having been members of a club. Most local associations do not usually question this homogeneous composition. They are not necessarily averse to diversity, but neither do they actively seek it out. “Based on the fact that membership of a local association can be an indication of the social cohesion of this community, sports clubs in the Rand are therefore a more important factor in integration than traditional youth movements, which are composed much more on the basis of linguistic background. The question is to what extent this should be a point of attention in a policy aimed at social cohesion,” concludes Janssens.
0497 188 857