Social class and the emergent organised sporting habits of primary-aged children
AffiliationEdge Hill University; University of Chester; Innland University Norway
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AbstractThis 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.
CitationWheeler, S., Green, K., & Thurston, M. (2019). Social class and the emergent organised sporting habits of primary-aged children. European Physical Education Review, 25(1), 89-108.
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