Sociological Research in Sport and Exercise (SoRSE)

Sociology is the common focal point for the research group and represents a joint forum which frames and brings different topics into play (for instance health, implementation, aging, youth, leadership, networks, leisure activities).

Regarding problems related to sport and physical activity, sociology has the potential to deliver answers and insights that are empirically anchored in qualitative and quantitative studies and are guided by a solid and thorough theoretical anchorage that enables critical reflection at a level beyond everyday observations.


  • Understanding gymnastics in the PE bachelor programmes in Denmark in a figurational perspective. The aim is to explore what processes and figurations influence the way gymnastics is taught in the BA programmes in PE at Danish universities (Andorra Jensen)
  • Sports participation among youth: How is the relationship between youth culture and sports culture, and how does this affects young people’s participation in sport? (Stine Frydendal)
  • Physical Education in schools: How can we understand the development, status and recognition of PE, and how does this enable and constrain the subject? (Stine Frydendal)
  • Democracy and participation in promoting health and physical activity: How can democratic, action-oriented participation by different target groups create change processes regarding health and physical activity? (Stine Frydendal)
  • The social female body: How do women experience their bodies during the menopausal transition? And which influence does exercise and physical activity have on their management? (Maria Hybholt)
  • Time bind and efficiency strategies: How do middle-aged women manage a hurried everyday life with work, family and leisure, including health promoting physical activity? (Maria Hybholt)
  • The digital daily life: How do (social) media influence women’s relation to their bodies? (Maria Hybholt)
  • Critical organizational perspectives on exercise at the workplace: How can physical activity be integrated in work life, and which possibilities and constraints can be identified? (Ulrik Wagner)
  • Sponsorships beyond marketing: What is the role of networks, and which downsides of the relation between sport and business exist? (Ulrik Wagner)
  • Sport scandals: How can we develop a theoretical understanding of the phenomenon? (Ulrik Wagner)
  • Implementation of partnerships in a processociological and political perspective. A study of how public institutions and voluntary organisations collaborate, and how sports associations handle these more formalised collaborations in practice. (Signe Engdal)
  • Forms of bridge-buildings. How are bridge-buildings between public sector exercise programmes and civil society sports associations implemented and organized, and how can it affect the adherence to exercise routines in everyday life of adults? (Signe Engdal)
  • The community of sports associations. A study of different sports associations’ possibilities and challenges with inclusion of new target groups in sports activities and in the life of the association in general. (Signe Engdal)








With sociology as the disciplinary starting point for SoRSE, our vision is to deliver research at the highest international level within the sociology of sport, but simultaneously to contribute to related fields such as organization studies, policy/politics and implementation, leisure studies, public health, educational research as well as for the sociological mother discipline.

In the long term, the goal is to become a benchmarking unit for the sociology of sport research in Denmark as well as internationally.


Therefore, it is our mission that the research group – through collaboration, ideation and by extending our existing, individual contributions – creates an integrated, dynamic and focused forum where the group's participants can gather for supervision and professional development, where good ideas can be fostered, and where younger researchers feel welcomed.

SoRSE cooperates with practitioners as well as other national and international research environments.  







Our objectives are as follows:

  • SoRSE is developed and anchored at the AB-building at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS) and thus contributes to maintain, strengthen and expand the section Sport, Individual and Society at the University of Copenhagen.
  • SoRSE continuously clarifies where and how synergy and collaborations within the group can be created in order to raise the higher level in terms of publishing and external funding through joint efforts.
  • SoRSe practices frequent meeting activities so that interaction, integration and mutual supervision as well as external inputs from researchers and practitioners are given high priority.
  • SoRSE decides - taking the heterogeneity of the group into consideration - which national and in particular international research fora it wants to make itself visible in.
  • SoRSE clarifies how the work of the group is organized in a best possible way so that a balance exists between workload (e.g. teaching) and time to gain merits through publishing.
  • SoRSE continuously decides with who and to what extent it collaborates with other relevant units such as Center for Team Sports and Health, sociology of sport research environments at other universities, and practitioners in sport (e.g. the Danish Sport Confederation, Danish Football Association, Team Denmark, Danish Association for Sport and Gymnastics, Danish Company Sport etc.)


























Members of research group

Name Title Phone E-mail
Adam Steen Malmkjær Rønlund PhD Student +4535330702 E-mail
Andorra Lynn Jensen PhD Student +4535322429 E-mail
Laila Ottesen Associate Professor, Head of Section +4535321741 E-mail
Maria Hybholt Assistant Professor +4535320840 E-mail
Signe Engdal PhD Fellow +4535336232 E-mail
Stine Frydendal Assistant Professor +4535321742 E-mail
Ulrik Wagner Associate Professor +4535321511 E-mail
Ulrik Wagner

Head of research group

Associate Professor Ulrik Wagner