Ledarna och barnidrotten : Idrottsledarnas syn på idrott, barn och fostran
Sammanfattning: An important premise for the study is the pedagogic importance of sports, that children and youth via sports and its leaders consciously and unconsciously incorporate and teach themselves skills, habits and knowledge as well as norms and values. Another premise is that sports leaders, like other teachers and leaders, work in a time where new conditions prevail for children’s upbringing and for the role as a leader. What should be conveyed to children today is not obvious but seems to be dependent on the individual fosterer’s idea on what the role should mean. This is truer for sports leaders, for example, than teachers since the sports movement does not have a prescribed curriculum.The perspective of the study is cultural-sociological and gender-theoretical. In the analyses, Pierre Bourdieu’s key concepts, habitus, capital and field, performed the functions of research tools. A descriptive purpose of the study was to increase the knowledge of who the children and youth leaders of the sports movement are and their views of and valuation of sports, the task and the children. Through studying what the sports leaders are bearers of in terms of personified and symbolic capital, the purpose of the study was also to analyse what was encouraged in the sports environment where many children and young people spend a great deal of their leisure.The analyses were based on an empirical material consisting of questionnaire replies from 525 sport leaders and in-depth interviews with 18 leaders. In addition, more than 1,600 future teachers and youth recreation leaders replied to a questionnaire form. Who the sport movement’s child and youth leaders are cannot be generally answered. It is partly dependent on which sport it is, partly which gender the leader has. The sport leaders’ attitudes to differing aspects of the children’s sports activity varied and various leader groups confronted each other. The leaders primarily appreciated the relations with the children. However, they did not appreciate the parental intervention, children and youths who did not behave themselves and the high demands which leadership signifies. Through sports the leaders primarily wanted to give the children physical and social upbringing. They wanted to educate children to be creative and independent individuals but emphasized at the same time a conscientious ideal.The study showed that differing types of symbolic capital dominate in children and youth’s sports activity and that different leader groups emphasize various values. What is understood as valuable seemed more to be related to the logic of different sports than to gender and the fact that the activities were for children. It is not possible to tell in general how children are fostered and influenced through sports. The results indicate, however, that seriousness dominated over playfulness and that success and achievement are highly valued.
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