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Ph.D. Defence by Lotte Stausgaard Skrubbeltrang

Lotte Stausgaard Skrubbeltrang will defend her PhD thesis: "Reproduction and Opportunity in Talent Development – a Sports Sociological Study of Danish SportsClasses"


02.11.2018 kl. 13.00 - 17.00


See the invitation here


A growing focus on talent development in sport has led several countries, including Denmark, to adapt so-called Dual Career initiatives to ensure that athletes are provided opportunities to pursue a career in sports while getting an education. Most research on Dual Career initiatives has focused on athlete above the age of 15 who are enrolled in high school or university programs. Therefor little is known about the consequences and effects of the programs aimed at younger athletes. Furthermore because most research on talent development focuses on psychological or club cultural aspects of talent development there is a lack of knowledge about the effects social background may have in talent development and Dual Career.

In this article based dissertation I investigate Danish SportsClasses – A program aimed at athletes in grade 7th-9th (age of 13-15).  The program is a collaboration between Team Danmark, the Danish Sports Association and local publich schools. The published works of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu inspires this dissertation’s theoretical framework. The aim is to investigate how talent is practiced in SportsClasses and what the social implications are from practicing talent this way. The dissertation is grounded in an ethnographic study of a Danish SportsClass (2013-2015) along with statistic analyses of two national surveys among all SportsClass students in Team Denmark supported SportsClasse. In my analyses I have focused on three aspects of the SportsClass program: 1) how students are selected for the program, 2) how students experience the SportsClasses and how their experiences are related to their social background, type of sport and gender 3) how the students construct their future aspirations in sport and education, also in relation to social background, type of sport and gender.

Findings from my three articles show that talent selection, students’ experience the SportsClasses and their constructions of aspirations in school and sport are closely related to social background and gender. My findings show that access to the SportsClasses is not entirely a question of sport specific skills, but also related to external factors, e.g. number of applicants and gender and type of sport distribution in applicant pool. My studies also show that more attention should be given to female athletes, as they are more likely to drop out of sports. Lastly my studies have found that more students from middle and upper middle class are accepted into the SportsClasses, but that these are less likely to aspire to a career in sports compared to student from lower socio economic background.


Fredrik Bajers Vej 7A4, room A4-106

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