Figurations of sports associations and municipalities: Applying Norbert Elias’ theoretical framework in the study of long-term health and welfare-oriented partnerships

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Research shows a burgeoning literature on how effective implementation of sports partnerships between civil society sports associations and municipalities serve to address health and welfare issues. Often due to limited project periods and differences between partners, studies identify various challenges and
possibilities regarding these partnerships. However, there is still seen a shortfall of empirical and political research concerning the examination of prolonged health and welfare-oriented relationships between municipalities and sports associations. Aiming to inform future political initiatives on the sustainability of
these partnerships, this study performs a process-sociological analysis of a Danish multiple case study. Taking our point of departure in Norbert Elias’ theory on figurations, webs of interdependence, and power dynamics, we analyse empirical material from five Danish municipalities and their long-term, formalized relationships with five sports associations. These relationships are studied because of their ongoing work with implementation and organisation of health and welfare related sports activities for adult and older populations within civil society sports associations. Using document analysis of contracts, local policies and strategies, and expert interviews with professionals from municipalities, voluntary instructors, and board chairmen from the five sports associations, our objective is to demonstrate the application of Norbert Elias’
theory in a relational context of civil society sports associations and municipalities. This may lead sports sociological researchers to explore new ways to perform civil society sports studies. For practitioners internationally, this approach may direct new understandings of their political work when partnering up with local sports associations in similar health and welfare-oriented partnerships world-wide.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhy Does Sociology Matter? : The Role of Sport Sociology in Interdisciplinary Research
Number of pages1
PublisherEuropean Association for the Sociology of Sport
Publication date2022
Article number126
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventEASS and ISSA World Congress of Sociology of Sport: The role of sport sociology in interdisciplinary research - Tubingen, Germany
Duration: 7 Jun 202210 Jun 2022


ConferenceEASS and ISSA World Congress of Sociology of Sport

ID: 320869958