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Danish Sport Governance: Tradition in Transition
2010 (English)In: Social Capital and Sport Governance in Europe / [ed] Margaret Groeneveld, Barrie Houlihan, Fabien Ohl, Routledge, 2010, p. 63-84Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION ‘Sport for all’ is the official slogan of Danish sport policy. This responsibility has traditionally been shared between the two major national umbrella sport governing bodies: the NOC and Sports Confederation of Denmark and the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations. The former governs both ‘Sport for all’ and elite sport, whilst the latter has an exclusive focus on ‘Sport for all’. The main differences are ideological and whilst education and self-realisation are two keywords of the DGI, for the DIF the practising of sport and good friendships in club environments are goals in themselves and not the means to solve social, health and other societal problems. Sport for all is also in many ways the focus of this research. By considering the social ties between SGBs and their membership from the perspective of social capital through an exploration of the organisational structure and reported relationships, thoughts on inclusion vs. exclusion or associational life as a school for democracy take centre stage. It is commonly acknowledged that sport is an arena where the development of national norms, social skills and social networks occur naturally; sport regularly fulfils an important role in strategic national public policy such as social integration policy. Nevertheless, the structure of sport and its competitive elements render such policy goals as ‘Sport for all’ more difficult to achieve. This is further underlined by the number of additional integration projects carried out by sport associations, under the lead of SGBs, often in collaboration with and, most of the time, funded by different local and national governments around Europe. Despite the growing doubt about sport’s inherent capacity or perhaps because of this doubt, together with a greater need in a time of constant reduction of the welfare state, the topic of social responsibility has become increasingly important for the discourse in Scandinavian sport governance. As a result the research turned its interest towards social responsibility of and through sport. The effects on sport governance are in this chapter framed as tradition in transition. Despite what may at first come across as a major shift of focus, the lens remains the same: to investigate the social ties between SGBs and their membership through the governance of sport. Social capital still is and needs to be at the centre in order to better understand the relationships within governing bodies and in connection to why and how the governing bodies of sport may pay attention to the topic of social responsibility. Subsequently, this chapter will pay attention to the changing nature of Danish sport governance in the light of Sport for all and through the lens of social capital. Two types of social capital will be presented as central to sport governance and typical for the Danish case: the leisure ties and the professional ties. In order to address these themes the chapter is structured as follows. The next section introduces the reader to Danish sport. Then, methods and cases are outlined. The subsequent section outlines the theoretical framework used throughout the research to understand and explain the social relations central to the governance of Danish sport. Thereafter, the chapter focuses on two themes that stand out as the most important questions for the future of Danish sport governance. The chapter concludes with a discussion of some of the more important findings and their potential implications for the future of Danish sport governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2010. p. 63-84
Keywords [en]
Social Capital, Denmark, Sport Governance, Leisure Ties, Professional Ties, Representation, Social Policy, Tradition, Transition, Football, Sailing, Handball
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-9815Local ID: 10376ISBN: 9780415876094 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-9815DiVA, id: diva2:1406847
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2021-06-11Bibliographically approved

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Persson, H. Thomas R.

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CiteExportLink to record
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