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Governing public health through voluntary sport organisations – bridging grassroots engagement and expert knowledge
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2016 (English)In: Book of Abstracts EASS 2016: Sport in the City – Mobility, Urbanity and Social Change / [ed] Adam B. Evans, Glen Nielsen, Lone Friis Thing and Laila Ottesen, Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport 2016 , 2016, 17-17 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A growing trend in welfare economies is governments´ use of voluntary organisations as tools to fulfil wider social goals (Peterson & Lupton, 2000). In Europe specifically, voluntary, non-profit and membership-based sport organisations are, as such, increasingly being used to attain health objectives (Österlind & Wright, 2012; Agergaard & Michelsen la Cour, 2012; Skille, 2008). In this development, policy processes for sport and health have become intertwined and have by that increasingly come to relate to the domain of public health (Stuij & Stokvis, 2014; Michelini, 2013; King, 2009; Coalter, 2013). In Sweden, the Swedish Sport Confederation (SSC) has been given (and taken on) increasing responsibility and has adapted the role of the premier public health promoter (Norberg, 2011; Bolling, 2005). But with this increased responsibility has followed a growing public debate about whether organised sport can deliver against public health objectives in practice. Some point to the deeply rooted tradition and logic of competition in sport as a constraint on the possibilities for sport organisations to implement health policies (Skille, 2011), while others argue that more thought should be given to what kinds of physical activities to encourage (Coalter, 2007; Murphy & Waddington, 1998), if the intention is to improve citizen´s health. Against this backdrop, this study explores sport´s significance and role in public health policy. Drawing on Norman Fairclough´s (1992; 2003) concept of interdiscursivity, it examines how Swedish Government Official Reports on public health treat issues related to sport and how corresponding reports on sport articulate public health issues. The results show how discourses on physical activity and democracy legitimize and consolidate sport´s role in public health, although they differ in their perspectives on health and people which allows for naturalized assumptions (about sport) to be maintained.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport 2016 , 2016. 17-17 p.
Keyword [en]
Interdiscursivity; Critical Discourse Analysis; Health; Physical activity
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120500ISBN: 978 87 9177 164 4OAI: diva2:929039
13th European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference, 4-7 May 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark
Available from: 2016-05-17 Created: 2016-05-17 Last updated: 2016-05-17

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ReferencesLink to record
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