• Adherence to exercise in later life: How can exercise on prescription programmes be made more effective?

      Thurston, Miranda; Green, Ken; University College Chester (Oxford University Press, 2004-09-01)
      A broad consensus has emerged in relation to the desirability of promoting exercise among a variety of ‘at risk’ groups via ‘exercise on prescription’ (EoP) schemes, as an alternative to orthodox, biomedical approaches to the management of health problems. Underpinning the rationale for such schemes is the notion that they can act as vehicles for encouraging long-term adherence to exercise. Whilst there is a common sense appeal to using EoP schemes to promote exercise, research to date suggests that evidence of their impact is limited. This paper attempts to make sense of these findings in the light of recent debates about adult lifestyles and exercise. More specifically, it brings work in the sociology of leisure to bear on the topic, on the premise that any study of adults' propensity towards sustainable physical activity needs to be viewed as an aspect of their lives ‘in the round’. Such an analysis points up the value of synthesizing perspectives from across the disciplinary divide in order to shed light on particular ‘problems’, which obviate the necessity for further empirical work. The paper concludes by identifying a number of implications for public health policy and practice with respect to the matter of encouraging lifelong participation in sport and exercise in general, and via EoP schemes in particular. One such implication is the development of a model for understanding participation that shifts the emphasis away from a focus on motivation and behaviour change per se towards satisfaction and enjoyment through the development of skills and relationships. Reconceptualizing the matter of participation in this way is likely to lead not only to a more realistic appreciation of what can be expected from EoP schemes, but also a more adequate understanding of adherence to exercise in later life.
    • Education, Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion

      Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Edge Hill University; University of Chester; Innland Norway University (Routledge, 2017-12-18)
      This chapter examines: (i) the policy rationale for viewing education and schools as an appropriate setting for PA promotion; (ii) the apparent role PE is expected to have in fostering lifelong participation in PA and sport; and (iii) the limits of education in promoting PA given the significance of wider social inequalities in families and the wider societies of which they are a part. It is suggested that while engaging in PE may help promote PA among young people in schools, and may strengthen their sporting predispositions and biographies, whether the content, organization and delivery of curricula promotes PA often depends on the predispositions, habits and experiences that are acquired and reproduced outside of education in childhood and family contexts characterized by varying degrees of social inequality.
    • Examinations in physical education: A sociological perspective on a 'new orthodoxy'

      Green, Ken; Chester College of Higher Education (Carfax Publishing, 2001-03)
      This article discusses the rapid growth of academic examinations (GCSE and 'A'-level) in physical education (PE) from a sociological, specifically figurational, perspective. It utilises data from the author's own research in order to examine: (i) how one might explain the significant increase in GCSE and 'A'-level PE and Sports Studies sociologically; and (ii) if such growth can justifiably be said to represent the emergence of a 'new orthodoxy' or, for that matter, an orthodoxy at all-rather than merely a consensus of thought and practice among PE teachers.
    • Examinations: A 'new orthodoxy' in physical education?

      Green, Ken; University College Chester (SAGE, 2004-10-05)
      This book chapter discusses GCSE and A level examinations in physical education and claims that this has led to the arrival of a new academic Orthodoxy in physical education.
    • Extra-curricular physical education in secondary schools in England and Wales: Reflections on the 'state of play'

      Green, Ken; University College Chester (SAGE, 2004-10-05)
      This book chapter offers an outline of the state of extra-curricular physical education in secondary schools in England and Wales and discusses why extra-curricular physical education remains relatively conventional in content and form.
    • Girls, young women and sport in Norway: A case study of sporting convergence amid favourable socio-economic conditions

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Vaage, Odd; Mordal-Moen, Kjersti; University of Chester; Hedmark University (Taylor & Francis, 2015-04-14)
      Based primarily on quantitative data from the Norwegian Statistisk Sentralbyrå (Statistics Norway) study of Mosjon, Friluftsliv og Kulturaktiviteter, this paper explores sports participation among females – and girls and young women, in particular – in Norway in the early years of the twenty-first century. In line with the observation that sport can be considered epiphenomenal, the paper argues that the comparatively high levels and marked increases in sports participation among young women are likely to have a great deal to do with their socio-economic status and, in particular, the diminishing gender gap over the past two decades. In short, the paper argues that trends in sports participation between 1997 and 2007 suggest that while young women in Norway may not be self-described feminists, they are heirs to the culture fostered by second-wave feminism: they have taken advantage of growing up in a country where standards of living are particularly high and at a time of greater equality between the sexes in order, among other things, to exploit the sporting opportunities increasingly available to them. In terms of the policy implications, the most salient lesson to be learned from the Norwegian situation – by countries keen to promote sports participation among girls and young women – is that instead of individually oriented approaches, sports policies need first and foremost to adopt society-level perspectives that address socio-economic gender disparities.
    • “The helping, the fixtures, the kits, the gear, the gum shields, the food, the snacks, the waiting, the rain, the car rides…”: Social Class, Parenting and Children’s Organised Leisure

      Wheeler, Sharon; Green, Ken; Edge Hill University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-11)
      Class-related parenting cultures and ideologies have been of considerable interest to academics over the last two decades. Much of the research thus far has focused on exploring Annette Lareau’s conceptualisations of ‘natural growth’ and ‘concerted cultivation’ and the implications for outcomes in relation to education. The focus of the present article is organised activities, which are a central but as yet relatively under-researched feature of middle-class parenting. The findings are based upon 73 semi-structured interviews with parents and children from 48 middle-class families living in and around a small city in northern England. The article reveals that initiating and facilitating children’s organised activities is considered a central aspect of ‘good’ parenting in middle-class social networks. It is shown how this is a consequence of several developments within society over the past three decades or so, including the rising levels of maternal employment, the growing competitiveness of the labour market and the increasing concerns related to children’s health and safety. It is argued that these developments have heightened middle-class parents’ predisposition to not only be involved with and invest in their children’s leisure biographies, but to do so in a more deliberate, rigorous and rational manner.
    • Including pupils with special educational needs in secondary school physical education: A sociological analysis of teachers' views

      Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; University College Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2004-11)
      This paper explores physical education (PE) teachers' views of the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) in PE from a figurational sociological perspective. Starting from the premise that teachers' views cannot be adequately explained by studying the concept of inclusion or the teacher in isolation, it is argued that we can only begin to make sense of such views by locating teachers within the figurations of which they are a part and by exploring two particularly salient features of those figurations: namely, teachers' habituses and contexts. In doing so, the paper focuses upon the training teachers receive, the constraints imposed upon them by their colleagues and pupils, and, most importantly, the suitability of the National Curriculum for meeting the needs of pupils with SEN. The paper concludes by highlighting some of the unintended consequences of the inclusion of pupils with SEN in PE.
    • Isn’t it good, Norwegian wood? Lifestyle and adventure sports participation among Norwegian youth

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Vaage, Odd; University of Chester; Hedmark University College; Norsk Statistisk Sentralbyra (Taylor & Francis, 2014-08-19)
      Based primarily on quantitative data from the Norwegian Statistisk Sentralbyrå (Statistics Norway) study of Mosjon, Friluftsliv og Kulturaktiviteter (Vaage, 2009) supplemented by a little qualitative data, this paper explores Norwegian youngsters’ (and, to a lesser extent, adults’) engagement with conventional and lifestyle sports via an examination of recent trends. Norway boasts particularly high levels of sports participation as well as sports club membership among young people and young Norwegians are the quintessential sporting omnivores. Nevertheless, among the age group where regular participation peaks in Norway (16-19-year-olds) the popularity of games declined over the decade 1997-2007 while participation in lifestyle sports continued to increase (Vaage, 2009). It seems that the particular mix of conventional and lifestyle sports that Norwegian youngsters favour has shifted within a generation, with lifestyle activities more prominent in 2007 than they had been even a decade earlier. The changes in participation in a particular area of sporting participation strongly associated with Norwegian culture – friluftsliv (outdoor life) – may well represent a shift among Norwegian youth towards sports and physical activities that offer alternative forms, as well as types, of participation to conventional sports. They may also represent alternative motivations to those traditionally associated with sport and, for that matter, friluftsliv. The paper draws upon these findings in order to tentatively hypothesize developments in youth leisure-sport in Norway.
    • ‘It’s alpha omega for succeeding and thriving’: Parents, children and sporting cultivation in Norway

      Johansen, Patrick F.; Green, Ken; Innland University Norway; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-11-13)
      It has become increasingly apparent, internationally, that childhood is a crucial life-stage in the formation of predispositions towards sports participation and that parents are increasingly investing in the sporting capital of their children via a process of ‘concerted cultivation’. It is surprising, therefore, that parents’ involvement in the development of their children’s sporting interests has received so little attention in Norway, given that sport is a significant pastime for Norwegians and participation has been steadily increasing – among youngsters, in particular – over the past several decades. Through a qualitative case study of a combined primary and secondary school in a small Norwegian city, this study sought to add to recent explorations of the role of parents in children’s sporting involvement in Norway. As expected, it was evident that sport becomes taken for granted and internalized very early on in Norwegian children’s lives. Less expected was the recognition that children’s nascent sporting interests were often generated by sports clubs via early years schooling and, therefore, that parents played only one (albeit very important) part in the formation of their youngsters’ early sporting habits. Thus, parents, sports clubs and early years schooling appeared to form something akin to a ‘sporting trinity’ in youngsters’ nascent sporting careers. These findings may have implications for policy-makers looking towards Norway for the ‘recipe’ for sports participation.
    • Mission impossible? Reflecting upon the relationship between physical education, youth sport and lifelong participation

      Green, Ken; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2012-05-08)
      It is widely believed that school physical education (PE) is or, at the very least, can (even should) be a crucial vehicle for enhancing young people’s engagement with physically active recreation (typically but not exclusively in the form of sport) in their leisure and, in the longer run, over the life-course. Despite the prevalence of such beliefs there remains a dearth of evidence demonstrating a ‘PE effect’. Indeed, the precise nature of the relationship between PE, youth sport and lifelong participation is seldom explored other than in implicit, often speculative and discursive, ways that simply take-for-granted the positive effects of the former (PE) on the latter (youth and adult participation in sport and physically active recreation). Using largely European studies to frame the issue, this paper reflects upon the supposedly ‘causal’ relationship between PE, youth sport and lifelong participation and, in doing so, highlights the inherent problems associated with attempts to identify, characterise and establish a ‘PE effect’.
    • Norwegian youngsters’ perceptions of physical education: Exploring the implications for mental health

      Røset, Linda; Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2019-06-24)
      Improving young people’s mental health has become a priority for policy-makers in Norway as elsewhere. Although the evidence is limited, physical activity has been identified as having a role in mental health promotion with school physical education (PE) typically being presented as a suitable setting. Few studies, however, have explored young people’s perceptions and experiences of PE and the possible consequences for their mental health – the departure point for this paper. We approach this issue sociologically by focusing on the processes through which PE is enacted. Qualitative data were generated by 31 focus groups involving 148 youngsters from the 10th grade (15–16-year-olds) in eight secondary schools in Norway. The overarching theme to emerge was that PE was valued by the students for what it was not as much as what it was. The appeal of PE often lay in being different and a break from ‘normal’ school lessons and, at the same time, an opportunity for informal social interaction and strengthening social bonds. Enjoyment of PE – even among those with limited sporting competence – was understood as giving rise to cathartic benefits and an antidote to their increasingly academic, routinized and performance-oriented school lives. However, processes relating to the organization, delivery and assessment of lessons meant that these benefits were sometimes compromised for some young people. We conclude that as far as the mental health of young people is concerned, the best justificatory defence for PE becomes physical recreation as a solution to (academic) schooling rather than PE as education.
    • Physical education and health promotion: A qualitative study of teachers' perceptions

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda (Emerald, 2002-06-01)
      This article discusses the extent to which health promotion is central to physical education (PE) teachers' philosophies and practices. 35 PE teachers in secondary schools in north-west England were interviewed.
    • Physical education teachers in their figurations: A sociological analysis of everyday 'philosophies'

      Green, Ken; Chester College of Higher Education (Taylor & Francis, 2002-03)
      This article examines physical education (PE) teachers' perceptions of their subject and the impact upon their practice of their (sporting) predispositions as well as the contraints of their school and 'professional' contexts. It reports data from an original empirical study conducted by the author with physical education teachers in secondary schools in the north-west of England.
    • Physical education teachers on physical education: a sociological study of philosophies and ideologies

      Green, Ken (Chester Academic Press, 2003-03-27)
      This book discusses the results of a research study in the late 1990s amongst practicing PE secondary school teachers in the North West of England.
    • Physical education, lifelong participation and 'the couch potato society'

      Green, Ken; University College Chester (Routledge, 2004-05)
      This article discusses the need to encourage continuing participation in sport and physical activity by young people through catering for their preferences through a wider range of activities in more informal and individual and small-group settings. Consequently, school PE lessons would need to focus on 'optional', recreational, lifestyle-oriented sports and physical activities, rather than competitive, performance-oriented sport.
    • The place of sport and physical activity in young people's lives and its implications for health: Some sociological comments

      Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; University of Chester (Routledge, 2005-06)
      This exploratory paper seeks, first, to offer some critical sociological comments on the common-sense, or rather ideological, claims surrounding two supposedly emerging 'crises': namely, the alleged poor health and declining sport and physical activity participation levels of young people. In this regard, it is suggested that while young people are, in fact, doing more sport and physical activity than at any other time in the past, this process has, and continues to, co-occur with other prominent social processes (e.g., rising levels of overweight, obesity and sedentariness). Second, the paper begins to make sense of this seemingly 'irreconcilable paradox' by arguing for the need to make use of a sociological perspective that views the complexity of young people's lives 'in the round' and by locating them within the particular social interdependencies or relationships in which they are inescapably involved.
    • Roberts and Brodie’s Inner-City Sport: An undiscovered gem?

      Green, Ken; University of Chester (Routledge, 2013-10-31)
      It may seem strange in a book about exemplars of research offering a distinctive contribution to the study of sport to describe Roberts and Brodie’s Inner-City Sport as an undiscovered gem but that is, I think, how it should be viewed. This is not to say that the study and the book that emanated from it have been entirely overlooked but, rather, that the significance of Inner-City Sport has remained largely hidden from the eyes of those having most to learn from it; namely, the many students and practitioners of school physical education (PE), sports development and the like and, for that matter, academics in these fields. If I am correct in this assertion then the significance of Inner-City Sport cannot be measured, straightforwardly, in terms of its impact upon academic understanding, let alone professional practice. Instead, its significance lies in the impact it could have on students, academics and practitioners – specifically in terms of the light the study throws upon what might be termed the ‘recipe’ for becoming ‘locked-in’ to sport.
    • Social class and the emergent organised sporting habits of primary-aged children

      Wheeler, Sharon; Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Edge Hill University; University of Chester; Innland University Norway (Sage, 2017-05-15)
      This paper reports on the patterns of participation in organised sports of youngsters coming towards the end of primary school, with a view to identifying emergent sporting habits in relation to social class gradients. The data for the study were generated via 90 semi-structured interviews with parents and children from 62 families. The data revealed differences in organised activity participation (both at and beyond school) between an ‘under-class’ and combined middle-class groups of children, as well as within-class gradients among the middle-class sub-groups. There were, for example, substantial differences between the under-class group and the combined middle-class group in terms of both the average number of bouts of organised sport participation and the repertoire or variety of sports engaged with. In effect, the mid- and upper-middle-class children were already sporting and cultural omnivores by the final years of primary schooling. We conclude that while the primary school organised sporting ‘offer’ may be neither a sufficient nor even a necessary contribution to the emerging sporting habits of mid- and upper-middle-class children, for under-class children it is likely to be necessary even though it may still prove, in the longer run, insufficient.
    • Social class, young people, sport and physical education

      Green, Ken; Smith, Andy; Roberts, Ken; University College Chester ; University College Chester ; University of Liverpool (SAGE, 2004-10-05)
      This book chapter discusses the relationship between social class and physical education. It aims to demonstrate how social class can effect other areas of young people's lives that impact on physical education, such as leisure lifestyles.