Archive for Vol. 8, 2017

Idrottsundervisning och maskulinitetens hegemoni: Genus och inflytande i gymnasie­skolans ämne ”Idrott och hälsa”

by Daniel Alsarve, Johan Jakobsson & Jens Helgesson

Vol. 8 2017, pages 197–219
Published December 11, 2017


Sports Education and the Hegemony of Masculinity: Gender and Influence in Swedish Upper Secondary School Physical Education

The Swedish upper secondary school and its physical education (PE) should, according to the Lgy11 (the 2011 curriculum of upper secondary school in Sweden), raise awareness about and challenge stereotypes of masculinity and femininity. Previous research, however, has concluded that there is an upholding of traditional, hegemonic masculinity ideals through PE. The purpose of this article is to highlight how gender and power influence the outcome of a just education. Theoretical inspiration is taken from Irish Marion Young’s and Raewyn Connell’s work on gender and hegemonic masculinity, and the method involves interviews with PE teachers and observations of PE classes. Dance, ball games, competition, socializing violence, performance of heterosexual norms are identified as key points, which are discussed in terms of norms and power linked to men and masculinity ideals. The results show that the making of masculinity is constantly occurring in PE, both in active elements but also during “inactive” breaks. Although strong ideals linked to men and masculinity were identified, there were usually also alternative representations. In other words, the educational gender practices were not identified as unambiguous, but rather as ambiguous and contradictory. However, most respondents showed decided views on how boys and girls naturally “are” in certain ways, which conditions a counter-stereotypical approach to education.

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About the Authors

DANIEL ALSARVE has a BA in Swedish and History and a PhD in History. He is currently working as a part time lecturer in pedadgoy at the University of Örebro. He is a member of the research group ”Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities”, Örebro university.

JOHAN JAKOBSSON has a BA in Physical Education and History. He is currently working as an intermediate and a senior level PE and Social Science teacher in Norrköping.

JENS HELGESSON has a BA in Physical Education and History, and iscurrently working as a senior level teacher in Norrköping.

Från “lappjävel” till ”the King”: Börje Salming, NHL, och den svenska modellen

by Tobias Stark

Vol. 8 2017, pages 163–196
Published November 28, 2017


From ‘fucking Sami’ to ‘the King’: Börje Salming, NHL, and the Swedish Model

This paper deals with former Toronto Maple Leafs and Team Sweden great Börje Salming’s role as a trailblazer for the migration of Swedish ice hockey players to the NHL. Ultimately, the aim is to shed light on the transformation of the Swedish (sports) model at the turn of the 21st century. Drawing on a wide range of archival material and media sources – including club records, newspapers, autobiographical accounts and interviews – it is argued that Salming’s stellar NHL-career not only paved the way for generations of his countrymen by working to dispel the North American myth that Scandinavian players were soft and fragile, as it is commonly asserted, but helped transform the Swedish national identity and hegemonic ice hockey masculinity as well. Theoretically, the paper is grounded in media researcher Garry Whannel’s work on media sport stars, and the notion of stardom as “a form of social production in which the professional ideologies and production practices of the media aim to win and hold our attention by linking sporting achievement and personality in ways which have resonance in popular common sense”.

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About the Author

TOBIAS STARK is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sport Sciences at Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden. He is the author of Folkhemmet på is: Ishockey, modernisering och nationell identitet i Sverige 1920-1972 [The Welfare State On Ice: Ice Hockey, Modernization and National Identity in Sweden 1920-1972] (2010), as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles on Swedish and International ice Hockey.

Digitalt medieret makkerfeedback: En undersøgelse af deltagerstyret idrætsundervisning støttet af digitale teknologier

by Steffen SøndergaardLars Domino Østergaard

Vol. 8 2017, pages 139–161
Published November 14, 2017


Digitally mediated peer feedback. A study of student-centred physical education supported by digital technologies

The aim of the described project is to investigate how peer-feedback in combination with video-feedback affect students’ active engagement and enhanced, focussed learning of volleyball skills. in a physical education class at a Danish high school. A case study was carried out over a six-week period in the normal settings of a physical education class. 26 students (male=20, female=6) were paired with a peer, and each pair was handed a tablet computer. The students trained basic volleyball skills on the basis of instructional videos and task cards. Video-recordings were made of the students’ volleyball skills and the students provided feedback to their peers. Data included field notes, video-observations and semi structured group interviews in combination with stimulated recall. The data were then analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) in order to identify common themes and patterns in relation to the students’ learning. The identified themes were discussed in light of phenomenology of perception and in relation to sociocultural learning theory. The study shows that peer-feedback and video-feedback promotes the students’ reflection and the video recordings allow the students to aim their feedback and reflection at the tacit dimensions of the unconscious body. This leads to an insight into how students can develop their volleyball skills. The conclusion of the paper is that the students, through problem-solving and reflection, develop their volleyball skills.

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About the Authors

STEFFEN SØNDERGAARD NIELSEN holds a M.Sc. in Sports Science & Media Studies from Aalborg University. Steffen is working as a teacher in a Danish high school while doing research on how digital media technologies is implementet in physical education. His research is mainly concerned with motivation and learning through digitally supported feedback. Steffen is also working as an instructor for TrygFonden Lifeguard Service where he educates new lifeguards and creates and manages  e-learning courses for students.

LARS DOMINO ØSTERGAARD is an Associated Professor at the Department for Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark where he is affiliated with  the research group for Physical Activity and Human Performance and Centre for Health Science Education and Problem Based Learning. His research interest concerns how and in which ways physical activity stimulates children’s and adolescents’ motivation and learning, primarily in school settings.

Genusrelationer i samtränad fotboll: Gränser och utmaningar i ett Idrottslyftsprojekt

by Karin Grahn

Vol. 8 2017, pages 113–138
Published November 6, 2017


Gender relations in co-ed soccer: Border work and challenges in a secondary school project

Idrottslyftet (“a boost for sport”) is a Swedish government-financed sports initiative aiming to activate more young people through sports. One way to achieve this aim is through cooperation between school and sport clubs, whereby a sport coach runs sport activities during the school day. The goal of this article is to analyze how gender relations are shaped, reproduced, or challenged through practices within a co-ed soccer project. An ethnographic field study was conducted in two elementary school classes. The result draws on participant observations of interactions between coach and children, and between the children themselves, and is analyzed through critical discourse analysis and theories of gender relations. A focal point of the analysis is how gender relations are shaped by the use of language (including body language). The result suggests that children are active in shaping and challenging boundaries between girls and boys; however, the structure of the football lesson as well as the coach’s actions and non-actions are also important in shaping gender relations. To enable equality in co-ed sport projects, coaches should be aware of their actions and how they may affect the children that they are teaching, and should also attend to the children’s own gender boundary setting.

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About the Author

KARIN GRAHN is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg. She works within the Sports Coaching program, teaching sociological and pedagogical perspectives on sport and sports coaching. She researches youth sports within a gender perspective, such as analyses of sport coaching textbooks, coaching and gender relations in co-educated sports, and body ideals among competitive athletes. Karin works with diverse qualitative methods mainly within a discourse analytical framework.

“Organizing for Excellence”: Stress-Recovery States in the Danish National Orienteering Team during a Training Camp and the 2015 World Championship

by Astrid Becker-LarsenKristoffer HenriksenNatalia Stambulova

Vol. 8 2017, pages 87–111
Published October 3, 2017


Energy management is a natural part of the life of elite athletes. This is particularly important during periods of high demand on their resources, such as during training camps and competitions, which are often intense and do not allow sufficient time for recovery. In the 2015 World Championships, the Danish national orienteering team was the best nation, winning four gold medals. In the present study we examined: (a) the stress-recovery states of the Danish orienteers during a three-week preparatory training camp and the following 2015 World Championships, and (b) their perceived sources of stress and recovery during the two events. The study was designed as case study with the RESTQ-sport questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and a coach’s journal as the data sources used longitudinally during the camp and the championships. Results revealed: (a) well-balanced stress-recovery states among all athletes during the entire period; and (b) perceived sources of stress and recovery classified into organizational, social, personal, and athletic. The organizational strategies played a key role in reducing athletes’ unnecessary stress and in facilitating individual recovery. We suggest that “organizing for excellence”, keeping in mind athletes’ energy management, is a special task for coaches and managers when preparing for camps and competitions.

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ASTRID BECKER-LARSEN is a research assistant at the Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark. Astrid’s primary research interest is applied sports psychology, and more specifically mental stress and recovery. As research assistant, Astrid is also teaching different courses both on the bachelor and master level. Beside this, Astrid is working as part of Team Denmark’s (the Danish elite sport institution) external network of associated sport psychology consultants

KRISTOFFER HENRIKSEN, PhD, is an associate professor at the Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark. As a researcher, Kristoffer’s main interest lies in social-psychological and ecological approaches to talent development. Kristoffer is also a sport psychology practitioner with Team Denmark, the Danish elite sport institution, and works with top-level athletes and coaches in sports such as orienteering and Olympic sailing. Kristoffer has published several papers about his applied work focusing on professional philosophy, mindfulness and working at the Olympic Games.

NATALIA B. STAMBULOVA is a professor in Sport and Exercise Psychology at School of Health and Welfare at Halmstad University, Sweden. Her professional experiences in sport psychology refer to her work for about four decades as a teacher, researcher, and practitioner in the USSR/Russia and since 2001 in Sweden. Her research and about two hundred publications relate mainly to the athlete career/talent development topic with an emphasis on athletes’ career transitions and crises. Dr. Stambulova is a member of editorial boards of several international journals and an associate editor of Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

Ridtränares kommunikation under privatlektioner i dressyr: En samtalsanalytisk studie

by Charlotte Lundgren

Vol. 8 2017, pages 67–86
Published September 15, 2017

Photo: Gunilla Pravitz


The communication of trainers in equestrian dressage: a multimodal interaction analysis

This study investigates interaction during equestrian dressage trainings, focusing on the trainer’s communication with horse and rider. The study is based on interaction analyses of 15 video recorded training sessions, as well as analyses of interviews and field notes. The results reveal a wide variety of non-verbal communication modalities deployed by trainers sharing their practical expertise with the athletes. Equestrian trainers use activity specific onomatopoetic constructions, paralinguistic resources such as rhythm, pace and prosody, as well as a number of embodied resources where they use the space of the riding arena and various communicative configurations of their own body and the co-present bodies of horse and rider to represent the horse, the rider and/or the equipage as a whole.

The study is a part of a larger project about equitation as a communicative and didactic practice, aiming at making the practical, embodied knowledge that riding and equestrian training rests on explicit, thus enabling reflection and discussion among both practitioners and researchers of communication and equestrianism.

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About the Author

CHARLOTTE LUNDGREN is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Culture and Communication at Linköping University, Sweden. Her research in applied linguistics is focused on professional communication in sports, health care, and other learning-centred activities. Departing from a dialogical perspective on communication, she investigates everyday talk and action to answer questions such as “how is this communicative activity organised?” and “what resources do the participants use in their interaction in this particular communicative activity?”.

Sensory Ethnographies of Sport: Three Methodological Considerations

by Hans Erik Næss

Vol. 8 2017, pages 49-66
Published June 12, 2017


The sensory character of fieldwork has been increasingly used as part of ethnographic investigations. Sport, however, seems to be lagging behind when it comes to exploiting this element. For that reason, this article seeks to illustrate the potential of making sensory diversity a premise, rather than an afterthought, for ethnographies of sport. Based upon trans-local fieldwork at six FIA World Rally Championship events, as well as other examples from sensory studies of sport, it is argued that by exploring the sense-based experience of fans and how it shapes their view on sport, we get a broader picture of their affiliation with it. By discussing the uses of the senses as ethnographic ‘instrument’, the role of the researcher and issues related to qualitative analysis, this article offers practical advice on how to use this approach in the field.

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HANS ERIK NÆSS (PhD, University of Oslo) is currently affiliated with the Faculty of Management at Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology. His research interests include motorsports, qualitative methods, and cultural sociology. He has published a monograph, A Sociology of the FIA World Rally Championship: History, Identity, Memories and Place (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), and articles in journals such as Sport in Society and Sport Management Review.

Norwegian Elite-Level Coaches: Who Are They?

by Kari FastingMari Kristin SisjordTrond Svela Sand

Vol. 8 2017, pages 29-47
Published April 18, 2017


Previous studies have shown that there is an underrepresentation of female coaches and a lack of opportunities for women to coach males, particularly at the elite-level. Very few studies, however, have focused on elite-level coaches’ demographics and whether these vary with respect to gender. The aim of this article is to get an overview of the gender distribution of Norwegian national team coaches with respect to different demographic variables, such as age, education and marital status. Furthermore, athletic background, coach education and coaching experience are examined. The results are based on data from an online survey among coaches who in 2012 worked as national team coaches (n=197). The main result is that the female and male coaches seem to be very similar, which is in contrast to the majority of previous research among elite-level female coaches. Another contradiction to previous studies, which mostly consist of qualitative research, is that the present quantitative study is based on a sample of national team coaches from all sports in Norway. Only 14% of the elite-level coaches are women. The explanation for this underrepresentation is discussed with respect to structural barriers that may be particularly relevant for elite-level coaching: sex-typing, stereotyping and homologous reproduction.

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About the Authors

KARI FASTING is a professor emerita at the Department for social and cultural studies at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NSSS) in Oslo, where she served as the chancellor from 1989 to 1993. She is past president and honorary member of the International Sociology of Sport Association, and a founding member and president of Women’s Sport International (WSI). Her research has been concerned with various aspects related to equality and diversity in sport, with a focus on sexual harassment and abuse.

MARI KRISTIN SISJORD is a professor at the Department for social and cultural studies at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NSSS) in Oslo. She teaches sport sociology and her research has focused primarily on youth sports, lifestyle sports, gender issues in sport, and sport and media. She has served two periods (1996-2003) on the board of the International Sociology of Sport Association, the latter period as Vice President.

TROND SVELA SAND is a sport sociologist, and works as an independent researcher. For the work on the current paper he has been affiliated with the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. He has broad experiences with research with a gender perspective and has among others worked with subjects such as coaching, leadership, and sexual harassment and abuse in sport. Other fields of experience are volunteering in sport, masculinities, and gender issues in the military.

The Aristocratic Taste for Sport among Swedish Sport Researchers

by Jonny Hjelm

Vol. 8 2017, pages 1–27
Published March 2, 2017


The cultural-scientific capital of sports researchers turns them into important arbiters of what is to count as a legitimate understanding of modern sport, and what is to be considered good and bad in sport. Drawing on the extensive work of Swedish sports researchers in social sciences and humanities between 1970 and 2010, the aim of this paper is to present a succinct view of how modern sport is portrayed in this intellectual milieu. The aim is to find out what its ascribed characteristics and essential values are, and then to contextualize this understanding socially and historically. The theoretical point of departure is the French cultural sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s writings on social classes and their different tastes for sport. Bourdieu’s views on upper-class cultural fractions, which in his view includes university teachers and researchers, and their aristocratic attitude towards physical activity is of particular interest. This attitude includes a general distaste for win-at-all-cost – ‘serious’ – competitions, and a specific distaste for sports with a pronounced element of bodily contact such as boxing and football (soccer). According to the analysis presented here, this has also become the mainstream attitude among contemporary sport researchers in Sweden. The competition-critical discourse that is pronounced among Swedish researchers has one root in the general left-wing critique of the competitive market society prevalent in the 1970s, and another in specifically pedagogical ideas which claim that playful learning processes are always the most efficacious.

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JONNY HJELM is Professor in history at the Department of History, Philosophical and Religious studies at Umeå University. He is also an associated coworker within Umeå School of Sport Sciences. He has since the late 1980s worked with labor and trade union history research. The last 15 years he has also explored women’s football history and the competition-critical discourse in Swedish sport research (in social sciences and humanities). He is currently leading the research project The sport club as a milieu for democratic fostering and – which represents a new track in his research – Freethinkers. Pro-secular organizations in Sweden 1880-2010.