Heather Williams and Dr. Mikaela Dufur, Department of Sociology
The purpose of our research was to discover the ethnic and racial patterns of migration in the professional levels of rugby. After collecting a sample of 1088 professional rugby players and compiling their statistics into our database, we performed cross-tabulations and ANOVA tests to identify if rugby players were moving from countries of origin to workplaces, and at what percentages. We found that a significant number of rugby players from the pacific island nations
leave their countries of origin to play in Australia, New Zealand, and Western Europe. Furthermore, rugby players from South America also move to Europe at a high rate. Rugby players from western Europe do not leave their countries of origin in significant numbers. In fact, it is significant how many do not leave, as random probability suggests that more would leave. Our findings show our hypothesis to be correct, and the patterns we found are explained the the World Systems Theory.
Some of the problems that we encountered arose from our data collection. As we built our own database from public statistics found on internet sites, there were many sampling issues we had to resolve, including how to identify the race of a player if it wasn’t stated, and how to determine their country of origin if it wasn’t stated.
Further research will be needed to see the effects of this player migration has on the game itself, especially if it results in stacking, which is placing players in certain positions based on racial/ethnic background. We are currently working on a paper that analyzes this, using the information from our unique database.
The research was presented at the Mary Lou Fulton Poster Session, as well as at the Pacific Sociological Association roundtables in San Diego, CA. We are currently finalizing a paper that will be submitted for publication in the next month.