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Copenhagen Summer School 2010

International Summer School for Young Researchers

Sport and physical activities – ideologies, practices and realities
Historical, Sociological, Psychological and Pedagogical Approaches

Date: August 22-27, 2010

Place: Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Aims and topics

In the last decades, sport and physical activities underwent crucial and still ongoing changes which Joseph Maguire describes as “diminishing contrasts, increasing varieties”. Numerous activities from gymnastics to climbing underwent sportification processes and sports, such as long distance running, developed from a realm of the chosen few to recreational physical activities. At the same time demands, expectations and legitimations related to sport and physical activities had to adapt to new requirements of peoples and societies. Simultaneously, knowledge about the impact of sport (for all) and its benefits (or dangers) in many areas increased. The interrelations between sport ideologies and sport practices are the overarching questions and issues which shall be discussed in this Summer School.

A specific focus shall be on (recreational) physical activities which are today in the centre of public attention. Sport for all has gained considerable interest and support among politicians, scientists and the general public because sport seems to remedy various threads to the (welfare) society. The current discourses about health (including weight) create a picture of a population endangered by life style diseases and an obesity epidemic, which can be controlled by physical activities (and nutrition). There is a wide spread believe, that sport for all is worth of support because of the health benefits. Although the positive effects of physical activities should not be under estimated, it is the question which forms of sport for all make sense in people’s lives. In a similar way, sport is hoped to contribute to the integration of members of ethnic minorities in the mainstream societies. But do we know what “immigrants” need, and how sport should be like in order to be beneficial for the various immigrant groups and for both sexes? And what do we know about reasons for (in) activity, effects of sport policies, or the transfer of knowledge into sport practices?

Aim of this Summer School is to discuss the emergence, developments and current situation of sport and physical activity concepts and ideologies and their impacts on sport discourses (including practices). Conversely, it can also be assumed that sport organizations and activities, especially popular sports, influenced and still influence the beliefs and tastes of participants and audiences. The former and current sport habits and fashions were and are connected with ideas and myths which have an impact on perceptions, interpretations and evaluations of sport and physical activities.



In keynote lectures the experts will address important questions, new approaches and results, problems and strategies of research, current trends and major issues in the area of sport ideologies, practices and realities. The students will have the opportunity of asking questions and discussing with the experts. In addition, there will be workshops and panel discussions. All students will have the opportunity to present their own projects. Papers with the main outlines of these projects must be submitted before the Summer School begins. There will be a discussion of each research project in working groups with other students and with experts. In addition, the experts are available for individual supervision.



Scholars of the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences

Guest lecturers (to be confirmed)
Pirkko Markula, Canada, University of Alberta
Elizabeth Pike, UK, University of Chichester
Gerald Gems, U.S., North Central College
Annette Hofmann, Germany, Univeristy of Ludwigsburg
Sigmund Loland, Norway, head of the Norwegian Sport University
and others


Selection of the students

The Summer School will take place in collaboration with the International Societies for Sport History (ISHPES) and Sport Sociology (ISSA), the European Association of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) and the International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women (IAPESGW).

Participants should be young researchers (either planning a PhD, working on their PhD or post docs). The participants may work in different disciplines of human and social sciences such as sociology, pedagogy, history and psychology. Participants will be selected according to the following criteria: relevance of the topic and quality of the project. The number of students will be between 20 and 25; it is aimed to include participants from as many countries as possible.

The participation in the Summer School is free.
We have applied for funding and may be able to provide free lunches.
Travel and accommodation has to be covered by the participants.
There is the opportunity to sleep in a youth hostel in the centre of Copenhagen.

Call for applications
Please send a CV and the application form to Marie Overbye: