18 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Exhibition
General Poster Session during Lunch
Most children and young people are involved in the Swedish sports movement, and without all the voluntary coaches, it would not be possible to run this organization. Many of the recruited coaches are young people (RF 2007) and a considerable number of initiatives have been taken to recruit them. The aim of many of these initiatives has been to increase their means of influence. The emphasis on influence can be linked to the fact that the club activities of the Swedish state are seen as an important arena for the civic education of young people (RF 2005, 2011).
The aim of this study is to examine how an initiative to recruit young coaches can help increase young people’s means of influence within the Swedish sports movement. The specific questions are as follows: (i) which young coaches are believed to be capable of having an influence? (ii) what means of influence do the young coaches recruited have?
Previous research shows that it is difficult to increase the influence of young people and the Swedish sports movement has not been particularly successful in this task. The annual general meeting is regarded as an important arena for exerting influence, as is being a club committee member; however, it has been hard attracting young coaches to these arenas. The conclusion drawn by Redelius (2005) is that young people often lack valid capital, i.e. they still do not have the necessary experiences and assets.
The sports movement can be seen as a cultural and social practice where certain values, norms, and actions are more evident than others. In order to understand actions and strategies based on the individual–group relationship and the social context they find themselves in, we are supported by the theories and concepts of Bourdieu.
Bourdieu (1990) describes how the social world consists, on the one hand, of objective structures that also exist outside symbolic systems, such as languages and myths, which depend on the agents’ consciousness and desires, and, on the other hand, symbolic structures, the origin of which forms a function of perceptions, ideas, and actions that the individuals construct. The socially constructed symbol systems act as classification schemes for the social world, which means that the structures are perceived as natural. Based on Bourdieu’s theories, certain social contexts can be regarded as social fields, among them, sport, which is characterized by having its own logic and defining its own rules, rules that everyone within the field must abide by and that often are obvious and taken for granted (Bourdieu 1988, 1997; Munk 1999; Munk & Lind 2004).
Using Bourdieu’s theories makes it possible to penetrate and illustrate the value structures and patterns of behavior in a social practice that the agents are partly unaware of. The starting point is, therefore, that the sports movement is a social arena in which the experiences the agents have incorporated, together with the objective structures, determine who is allowed to enter and influence the field.
Bourdieu, Pierre (1977), Outline of a Theory of Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). —— (1988), ‘Program for a Sociology of Sport’, Sociology of Sport Journal (SSJ), 5 (2), 153–61. —— (1990), The Logic of Practice (Cambridge: Polity Press). —— (2004), Science of Science and Reflexivity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Denzin, Norman K. & Lincoln, Yvonna S. (1998), Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials (London: Sage Publications). Munk, Martin D. (1999), Livsbaner gennem felt – En analyse af eliteidrætsøveres sociale mobilitet og rekonversioner af kapital i det sociala rum [Trajectories through a Field: An Analysis of Top Level Athletes’ Social Mobility and Reconversions of Capital in the Social Space] (Lund: Lund University). —— & Lind, Jakob B. (2004), Idrættens kulturelle pol – En analyse af idrætsfeltets autonomi belyst ved Pierre Bourdieus metode [Sport’s Cultural Pool: An Analysis of the Field of Sports’ Autonomy Illustrated Using Pierre Bourdieu’s Method] (Copenhagen: Copenhagen University). Redelius, K. (2005), ‘Idrottsungdomar – med rätt att påverka?’ [Sporting Youngsters: Entitled to Influence?] in Leve idrottspedagogiken! En vänbok tillägnad Lars-Magnus Engström [Long Live Sport Pedagogy! A Festschrift in Honour of Lars-Magnus Engström], ed. K. Redelius & H. Larsson (Stockholm: HLS förlag). RF:The Swedish Government (2005), Makt att forma samhället och sitt eget liv – nya mål i jämställdhetspolitiken [Power to Shape Society and One’s Own Life: New Equality Policy Goals], Government bill 2005/06:155. —— (2011), Kultur, medier, trossamfund och fritid [Culture, Media, Community, and Leisure], Government bill 2010/11:1.
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