Playing An Unequal Game?

Youth sport and social class

Authored by: Jeroen Scheerder , Hanne Vandermeerschen

Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415840033
eBook ISBN: 9780203795002
Adobe ISBN: 9781134469932


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The social stratification of sports participation is a recurring topic in the academic literature on sports. The link between social class and sports participation has been frequently analysed, both theoretically and empirically. The insights of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002) concerning the relationship between social position and lifestyle have been both inspiring and influential for this field of study (e.g. Bourdieu, 1978, 1988; Ohl, 2000; Stempel, 2005). Since research on social stratification has mostly focused on adults, the relation between youth sport and social class seems to be somewhat underestimated (Scheerder et al., 2005a; Scheerder et al., 2005c). Yet, perhaps more than ever, the topics of social difference in general, and social inequality in particular, are worthy of investigation.

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