Institutionalizing Elite Sports in Danish Public Schools: Processes of Contractualization and Accountability

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review

In this article, we show how collaboration between Danish public municipal primary and lower secondary schools (folkeskoler) and elite sports clubs to establish SportsClasses enables schools to set parameters that align student-athletes’ attitudes and behavior towards school and academic performance. Using neo-institutional theory, we show how two separate institutional domains – education and sport – come to agree on common purposes and practices for an endeavour that takes place on the “home field” of education. We apply the theoretical concepts of ‘contractualisation’ and ‘accountability’ to understand what these learning agreements or implicit social contracts involve, how they are made, and how they are enforced. These concepts capture the empirical mechanisms that produce the integration of athletes into school norms and practices. The article is based on an ethnographic study of the admissions process for SportsClasses. We discuss the benefits and risks for the publicly-funded school system in entering into such social learning contracts.
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2020
BegivenhedThe 115th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association - ASA 2020: POWER, INEQUALITY, AND RESISTANCE AT WORK - Virtual, San Fransisco, USA
Varighed: 7 aug. 202011 aug. 2020


KonferenceThe 115th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association - ASA 2020
BySan Fransisco


  • elite sport and school, talent development, accountability, contractualisation

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