Trying to fit in - upper secondary school students' negotiation processes between sports culture and youth culture

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In this paper we present results concerning how students in a Danish upper secondary school negotiate between sports culture and the prevailing norms of youth culture in a local school context. The study shows that it can be rather difficult for young people to combine sports culture with the local youth culture, because living a healthy and physically active life doesn’t fit very well with the prevailing norms of youth culture, which involve a dominant social arena characterized by parties and alcohol. By applying the figurational sociology of Norbert Elias, this article shows that being included in a sports figuration can result in exclusion from the youth figuration. Young athletic students are therefore in a constant process of negotiation, where they struggle to fit into both sport and non-sport related contexts, because it is important to belong within both. The study is based on 16 focus group interviews [N=120] conducted over four years in one Danish upper secondary school.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)445-458
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Figurational sociology, Focus group interviews, Physical education, School-based research, Sports culture, Youth culture

ID: 182577181