Archive for Vol. 5, 2014

‘You’ve been in the house too long, she said, and I naturally fled’: An analysis of habitus among Danish e-sport players

by Thomas Bjørner

Vol. 5 2014, pages 149–166
Published December 7, 2014


Patterns in electronic sport (e-sport) have changed with increasing seriousness and professionalization in competitive activities, patterned behaviours, social structures and institutionalized settings. The aim of this study is to explore some Danish e-sport players’ habitus of e-sport with a special focus on the significant amount of training taking place at home and individual identities displayed through e-sport. The basis for the study is 14 interviews, where seven players were interviewed twice, an in-depth interview at a competition event and a family interview in the players’ home. The players have very similar embodied dispositions, traditions, beliefs, morals, values and ways of practising e-sport. The motivation for playing e-sport is not an internalization of a family norm, but happens in a social group context with friends. However, the findings also reveal that e-sport is perceived as a low status activity in a certain boy-culture, and e-sport has a special structured context and hierarchical relations with no unifying clubhouse or coaches involved, with most training and creation of social life taking place on-line from home, which also affects the intimate sociability of the home.

acrobatreader Access full text pdf 

About the Author

THOMAS BJØRNER is Associate Professor in Media Sociology at Aalborg University. His research lies within qualitative research advancements, which also imply a mixed methods strategy. His research addresses besides methodological issues within interviews, observations, field studies and user evaluations also the characterisation of media usages in different contexts. His research cases have been within the fields of mobility, gaming and sports. Since 2007 he had been vice chairman in the research network for qualitative methods and member of the research clusters C-MUS (The Centre for Mobility and Urban Studies), MoTT (Mobility and Tracking Technologies) and Games, Communication and Learning. Thomas Bjørner teaches at both the bachelor and master levels in courses within methodology and media sociology, beside which he also organizes two PhD courses in advanced qualitative methods.

Perceptions of leadership behavior and the relationship to athletes among Scandinavian coaches

by Eystein Enoksen, Per Göran Fahlström, Bjørn Tore Johansen, Carl-Axel HageskogJens Behrend ChristensenRune Høigaard

Vol. 5 2014, pages 131–147
Published November 25, 2014

From the top: Eystein Enoksen, Per Göran Fahlström, Bjørn Tore Johansen, Carl-Axel Hageskog, Jens Behrend Christensen, Rune Høigaard

From the top: Eystein Enoksen, Per Göran Fahlström, Bjørn Tore Johansen, Carl-Axel Hageskog, Jens Behrend Christensen, Rune Høigaard


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the perceptions of leadership behavior and coach–athlete relationship in Scandinavian coaches. A secondary purpose was to investigate if differences in national sport education, level of coaching and coaching experiences in individual or team sport have an influence on leadership behavior and coach–athlete relationships. One hundred and forty nine coaches at international level or national top level from Denmark, Norway and Sweden participated in this study (134 male and 15 female). The methods of investigation were Chelladurai’s Leadership scale of sport (LSS) (Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980) and Jowett’s coach–athlete relationship perspective (Jowett & Wyllemann, 2006). The results showed that the most frequent self-reported behavioral components between the described coach–athlete relationship subscales and preferred leadership behavior among Scandinavian top-level coaches were training and instructions, positive feedback and democratic behavior, respectively. The study also revealed a positive coach–athlete relationship between (1) commitment and training and instruction, (2) positive feedback and social support, and (3) between complementarities and training and instruction behavior. A significant difference was found between top coaches in Denmark and Sweden on commitment and complementarity, and more experienced coaches used significantly more training and instruction and social support in their coaching than did less experienced coaches. Coaches in team sports reported more autocratic behavior and less democratic behavior than coaches in individual sports.

acrobatreader Access full text pdf

About the Authors

EYSTEIN ENOKSEN (Ph.D.) is a Professor in sport science at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (Norges idrettshøgskole). His Ph.D. thesis focused on talent development in sport with a special focus on drop-out reasons among talented track and field athletes. He has written more than 40 books and his research work includes articles in training science in elite sport, sport coaching and sport leadership. He holds for the moment a personal trainer position for the Norwegian elite sprinters and hurdlers. In 2013 he was awarded “Trainer of the year in track and field”.

PG FAHLSTRÖM is Associate professor in sport science at Linnaeus University. His PhD thesis was in pedagogics and focused on coaches in ice hockey. He holds an academic elite coach diploma and a degree as physical education teacher. He is the President European Association for Sport Management. His research interests include sport coaching, sport leadership, talent identification and talent development in sports. His has recently finished a report on the elite athletes’ perceptions of the end of the sport career. He is currently leading two research projects funded by Swedish Sports Confederation, “Sport choice and specialisation” and “Good sport environments”.

BJØRN TORE JOHANSEN is Associate Professor in sport psychology at the Department of Health and Sport Sciences at University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway. He has a PhD on the topic “Cognition in Orienteering” from the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo back in 1997. He has a background from orienteering as a coach on the national team. He has also been a coach and referee in soccer for more than 15 years. Johansen is currently leader of a research project on the role of top-class referees in Norway.

CARL-AXEL HAGESKOG is professor in Sport Science at Linnaeus University. His experience from tennis as the Swedish Davis Cup Coach 1985-2002 and personal coach for Mats Wilander, Anders Jarryd and Magnus Larsson, all world top players in the period, qualified him for professor on artistic basis. He has got the highest honours of the Sport in The Prince Plaque and Medal in Gold from The King of Sweden. He has an academic degree as physical education teacher. His main focus is building the bridge between the academy and sport – Academy meets Sport.

JENS BEHREND CHRISTENSEN is Associate Professor in sport science, Department of Public Health, University of Aarhus. His main topics include track and field, talent identification, talent development and mentoring in sport. His newest research includes New Trends in Sport, the events and the future developments. He is former National Coach in Combined Events and expert commentator in athletics at the Olympic Games for TV 2 Denmark.

RUNE HØIGAARD (Ph.D.) is Professor in Sport and Exercise Psychology, at the Department of Public Health, Sport and Nutrition at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway. In addition, he holds a position as a visiting Professor at the University in Nordland, Bodø, Norway. He has published several books, book chapters, and over 30 refereed articles on sports psychology, group dynamics, coaching, and counseling. He is a former track and field athlete and coach, and now a dedicated recreational cyclist.

Review Essay: Individuals? Factors? Definitions? The sociological abstraction of the body

by Henning Eichberg

Vol. 5 2014, pages 111–129. Published November 10, 2014


When starting to teach university courses in Body Culture, I proposed Chris Shilling’s The Body & Social Theory (1993) as basic literature. The book’s intention was interesting, indeed. However, the book produced a lot of misunderstanding both for my students and for myself. Why was that? A closer examination of the third edition (2012) reveals some serious analytical and terminological problems. As these problems are not particular of Shilling’s approach, but can be found in a wide range of sociological studies, they deserve a deeper analysis and a critical discussion. Are humanist studies allowed naively to talk about “the biological body”, “individuals”, “factors” or “us in modern society”? This is more than a linguistic question – it is not least a question of philosophy. Kate Cregan’s Key Concepts in Body & Society (2012) follows the same track as Shilling, but presents a more practical application for students. Her book illustrates especially the problem of “defining” phenomena of human life. Can we really define – describe by strict limits – what is historically changing and socially diverse?

Access full text pdf

About the Author

HENNING EICHBERG, professor Dr. phil. habil., is a cultural sociologist, historian, and philosopher. He teaches body culture studies and the study of play at the University of Southern Denmark, Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, Odense. He has dealt with the history and cultural sociology of sport, play and body culture; the cultural ecology of movement; the history of early modern mili­tary tech­nolo­gy; Ind­onesian studies; and democracy, ethnic mi­norities, and natio­nal identity. His main research at present concerns the philosophy of play. Eichberg authored, among others, Der Weg des Sports in die industrielle Zivilisation (1973), Militär und Technik (1976), Leistung, Spannung, Geschwindigkeit (1978), Festung, Zentralmacht und Sozialgeometrie (1989), Body Cultures (1998), The People of Democracy (2004), Bodily Democracy. Towards a Philosophy of Sport for All (2010), and Idrætspolitik i komparativ belysning – national og international (2012).

The football industry through traditional management theories

by Argyro Elisavet Manoli

Vol. 5 2014, pages 93–109. Published November 4, 2014


Professional football is more than just an elite sport, it is also a rapidly developing industry, and can, therefore, be analysed as such. Using traditional micro- and macroeconomic management theories, this study aims at presenting football in a managerial way, while displaying its unique aspects. The English Premier League is used as the sample on which the analysis is conducted. First, through the PESTEL analysis, all factors affecting the industry are discussed, with emphasis on the economical, social and legal factors that have shaped football to its current form. Second, the Porter’s five forces examination of the microeconomic forces within the industry is presented, where the unique relationships the sport has with its suppliers, customers and rivals is analysed, with focus on the complex relation between football and the media. Through this microanalysis, the question of whether football can be considered a monopoly is answered. Finally, the stakeholder theory is employed to study the various interest groups of the sport, examining their power, legitimacy or urgency in relation to football.

Access full text pdf

About the Author

ARGYRO ELISAVET MANOLI is a sports marketing academic, lecturing at institutions such as Teesside University, Loughborough University and University College of Football Business, UCFB, in England. Elisavet is also a sports marketing practitioner, working with a number of both English and Greek football clubs, including AEK Athens FC and Middlesbrough FC. As a researcher, Elisavet has presented and published several research pieces in areas such as CSR promotion in football, Integrated Marketing Communications, IMC, and matchfixing in football. Elisavet currently sits on the Board of  the Hellenic Scientific Association of Sport and Recreation Management and is also a PhD candidate at Teesside University, where she studies the possibilities to implement IMC in the football industry.

Reality and Dreams: A Comparison of Elite Athletes’ Lived Career Paths with Young Talented Athletes’ Imagined Career Paths

by Kristoffer Henriksen & Janne Mortensen

Vol. 5 2014, pages 69–91. Published September 16, 2014


The road to international sporting success is paved with difficult transitions. The present study is a qualitative in-depth interview study with 16 athletes. We first asked eight elite level athletes to provide a biographical description of their career path. We then asked eight young talented athletes to imagine they were at the end of a successful career and invited them to portray their imagined path. The elite athletes portrayed their career path as full of challenging transitions and existential concerns, and readily emphasized a number of internal and external resources as prerequisites for their successful careers. The young athletes portrayed an easy path with few hardships and emphasized internal resources over external ones. The study sets as a question for future research whether young athletes’ naïve and pervasive optimism is a cause for concern or an important internal resource for their further career development.

Access full text pdf

About the Authors

KRISTOFFER HENRIKSEN, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark. Kristoffer is also a sport psychology practitioner with Team Denmark, the Danish elite sport institution. As a researcher, Kristoffer has published several papers on successful talent development environments in sport, young talented athletes’ specialization pathways, and the provision of sport psychology services to senior elite and young talented athletes. As a sport psychology practitioner, Kristoffer works with top-level  athletes and coaches in sports such as orienteering and Olympic sailing. Kristoffer has published several scientific papers about his applied work including papers on the professional philosophy of sport psychology practitioners and a paper on the delivery of sport psychology services at the Olympic Games.

JANNE REFFSTRUP MORTENSEN is master in sport science and European master in exercise and sport psychology. Janne is working as a full time sport spsychology consultant in her own company, Mental Motion. She specializes in the transition from junior to senior levels and works primarily with young talented athletes and their parents. She currently supports several young, high profile athletes on their rough road to become elite athletes. Janne is also a part of Team Denmark’s network of associated sport psychology consultants. Janne has contributed to two chapters for the book Becoming a Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Professional: International Perspectives (2014, Psychology Press), and published the paper “A Narrative Investigation of the Imagined Career Paths of Young Athletes” (Sport Science Review, 2013, 22 p. 305.22, with Henriksen & Stelter).

From Community Based Identities to Individual Benefits for Volunteers: A Comparison of Three Sporting Events

by Elsa Kristiansen, Eivind Å. SkilleDag Vidar Hanstad

Vol. 5 2014, pages 47–68. Published May 28, 2014


The purpose of this paper is to explore and identify different types of volunteers at three major sporting events: the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria; the 2012 GöteborgsVarvet (a half-marathon race), Sweden; and the 2012 FIS World Ski Flying Championships in Vikersund, Norway. Altogether, 37 volunteers were interviewed, and Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field, as well as modernization theories, were employed in the analyses. Data revealed that all three groups of volunteers had different motives for volunteer work. The young, international volunteers at the Winter Youth Olympic Games were concerned with learning and gaining experience; the volunteers at Vikersund were motivated by the commitment to the local community; while the volunteers at GöteborgsVarvet volunteered for their local sport club. In conclusion, we argue that there is an increased complexity of volunteer patterns. Theoretically speaking, there is a difference between subfields of volunteering which fit various individual habitus. Clearly, modern volunteers, particularly young people, extend the complexity of the sport field and the volunteering field.

Access full text pdf

About the Authors

ELSA KRISTIANSEN is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. She has investigated the impact of organizational issues and especially the effect of media coverage on elite athletes’ perceptions of stress, in addition to being involved in an international project examining the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). She is currently investigating the complex network of intertwining relationships in which young athletes are involved, and how these relationships influence the development of these young athletes. Her latest publications include Kristiansen, E., (in press).Competing for culture: Young Olympians’ narratives from the first winter Youth Olympic Games. International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2012.756259; Kristiansen, E., & Parent, M. M. (2014). Athletes, their families and team officials: Sources of support and stressors. In D. V. Hanstad, M. M. Parent, & B. Houlihan (Eds.), The Youth Olympic Games (pp. 106–121). Oxon: Routledge; and Kristiansen, E., & Lines, G. (2014). Media. In A. Papannnoiu, & D. Hackfort, (Eds), Companion to sport and exercise psychology: Global perspectives and fundamental concepts (pp. 236-259). New York: Taylor & Francis.

EIVIND Å. SKILLE is Professor with the Department of Sport at the Hedmark University College, Elverum, Norway. Eivind is a sport sociologist and his main research interests are sport policy, sport organization, and sport participation. Much of his work has focused on the relationship between the state’s sport policy making and the possibilities and constraints for implementation of this policy through the voluntary sport organizations. His latest publications include Idrettslaget – helseprodusent eller trivselsarena? (2012, Oplandske Bokforlag), The Conventions of Sport Clubs: Enabling and Constraining the Implementation of Social Goods Through Sport’ (2011, Sport, Education and Society, 16 (2): 253-265), and ‘Sport for all in Scandinavia: sport policy and participation in Norway, Sweden and Denmark’ (2011, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 3 (3): 327-340)

DAG VIDAR HANSTAD is Associate Professor in sport management and head of the Department of Cultural and Social Studies at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo. He has a PhD on the topic “Anti-Doping in Sport. A Study of Policy Development since 1998”. He was previously Sport Editor for the leading Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. He has also background from handball as a player on the national team and trainer at highest level. His research interests include events, volunteerism, anti-doping and media. Hanstad is currently leader of a research project on the Youth Olympic Games.

The relationship between adolescent sport participation and lifelong participation in physical activity in Norway: A Critical Analysis

by Eivind Å. Skille & Tor Solbakken

Vol. 5 2014, pages 25–45
Published April 15, 2014


In this paper, the relationship between adolescent sport participation and lifelong participation in physical activity (LLP) is scrutinized, in order to explain why people are active later in life. Literature treating the relationship between sport participation during adolescence was compared to literature into characteristics of Norwegian adolescent sport. Organized and competitive sport does not facilitate lifelong continuation in physical activity, due to its characteristics of sport: adolescents often drop out from sport, adolescents specializes in one sport instead of keeping or developing a broad repertoire for physical activity, and adolescents do not feel autonomous and free in a sport setting as it is adult controlled. Assisted by Bourdieu’s theory of field and habitus, the analysis indicates that habitus (including characteristics of social class) better explains LLP than does adolescent sport participation. It is proposed that habitus can be seen as the intermediate mechanism that explains both adolescent sport participation and LLP (instead of seeing the former explaining the latter).

acrobatreader Access full text pdf

About the Author(s)

EIVIND Å. SKILLE is Professor with the Department of Sport at the Hedmark University College, Elverum, Norway. Eivind is a sport sociologist and his main research interests are sport policy, sport organization, and sport participation. Much of his work has focused on the relationship between the state’s sport policy making and the possibilities and constraints for implementation of this policy through the voluntary sport organizations. His latest publications include Idrettslaget – helseprodusent eller trivselsarena? (2012, Oplandske Bokforlag), The Conventions of Sport Clubs: Enabling and Constraining the Implementation of Social Goods Through Sport’ (2011, Sport, Education and Society, 16 (2): 253-265), and ‘Sport for all in Scandinavia: sport policy and participation in Norway, Sweden and Denmark’ (2011, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 3 (3): 327-340).

TOR SOLBAKKEN is associate professor of sport and physical education at Hedmark University College, department of Sport and Active Lifestyle.  His approach to research and development projects can be described as multidimensional with main focus on applied psychology  (learning strategies) and sport sociology (effects of sport participation). His latest publication in the field og sport sociology  is also in cooperation with professor Eivind Skille,  Sport as a vehicle for health promotion – an analysis of Norwegian policy documents (2011, Critical Public Health, 21: 191-202). Apart from the academic work, he is continuously involved as coach related to cross country skiing and biathlon at different levels.

Norwegian Human Rights Organisations and Olympic Games

by Anders Hasselgård & Andreas Selliaas

Vol. 5 2014, pages 1–24
Published January 28, 2014


In this article, an analysis is made of Norwegian Human Rights organisations (HROs), their involvement in the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, and consequences for their involvement in subsequent Games.  We attempt to identify the organisations’ understanding of the Olympic Games as an arena for human rights activism and how “Olympic activism” provides meaning to the organisations’ work. The analysis exposes an interesting paradox. On the one hand, HROs recognise that the Olympic Games and the global human rights engagement did not contribute to an improvement of the human rights situation in China, but possibly led to a deterioration of the situation in certain areas. On the other hand, the conclusion was drawn that the Olympic Games engagement was a success in so far as it drew attention to the organisations and yielded greater legitimacy among the Norwegian population. The question is raised as to whether the experience of the Beijing Olympic Games campaigns could play a role in the Norwegian HROs’ activist approach in future Games such as the approaching winter Olympic Games in Russia.

acrobatreader Access full text pdf

About the Authors

ANDERS HASSELGÅRD is a former professional football player. He holds a PhD studentship within “Sport for Development and Peace” (SDP) at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NSSS), Department of Cultural and Social Studies. He is also head of the study program “Sport, culture and development cooperation” at NSSS.  Hasselgård has previously earned a master’s degree in political science and worked as a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (the research project “Sports and Reconciliation”).  He is currently working on a doctoral thesis on the Norwegian SDP engagement in the Global South and his main interests in this respect concerns international development aid and international politics.

ANDREAS SELLIAAS works as a Communication Adviser to Norsk Tipping (Norwegian National Lottery). He has worked four years as a Special Adviser to Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF)  and seven years as a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). At NUPI, Selliaas initiated the research project “Sports and Reconciliation”, and he headed the project “Terrorism Studies”, where his special field of expertise was “Terrorism and International Sports Events”. He is a frequent commentator in Norwegian media on sports politics and policy issues, and his blog on sport and politics is one of the most read sports blogs in the Nordic Countries (