School Sports Is the Solution: What Is the Problem?
2014 (English)In: European Journal for Sport and Society, ISSN 1613-8171, Vol. 11, no 4, 353-369 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Since the late 1980s, the Swedish education system has undergone major changes that resulted in the school system being decentralised, market adjusted, and privatised. This has created local, quasi-markets in which there is a constant struggle for pupils. During the same period, the presence of school sports has increased significantly. The aim of this paper is to elucidate the reasons why schools have chosen to specialise in sports and to determine what makes sports so viable for schools. As an empirical foundation for the study, telephone interviews with principals at 50 selected schools offering school sports were conducted. The results show that the principals experienced increased competition in the local school market, and following Bourdieu’s concept of capital, that school sports fill an important need for schools because they bring different forms of important and necessary capital. Furthermore, school sports are valuable due to the diversity and the various meanings and values that society associates with sports. This article shows that a side effect of the market adaptation of the Swedish school system is that school sports have evolved into a marketing product for recruiting pupils.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
European Association for Sociology of Sport , 2014. Vol. 11, no 4, 353-369 p.
principals, pupil recruitment, school market, secondary school, Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96295OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-96295DiVA: diva2:763929