Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2020
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventThe 115th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association - ASA 2020: POWER, INEQUALITY, AND RESISTANCE AT WORK - Virtual, San Fransisco, United States
Duration: 7 Aug 202011 Aug 2020


ConferenceThe 115th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association - ASA 2020
CountryUnited States
CitySan Fransisco
Internet address

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 194319812