Social positioning and the construction of a youth sports club

Kirk, David and MacPhail, A. (2003) Social positioning and the construction of a youth sports club. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 38 (1). pp. 23-44. ISSN 1461-7218

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Abstract

This article uses the concept of social positioning to explore the construction of a youth sports club by young people, their parents and coaches. The year-long ethnography of Forest Athletics Club (FAC) identified two athlete positions of Samplers and Beginning Specializers. Four parents’ positions were identified, those of Non-Attenders, Spectators, Helpers and Committed Members. One coach position was the Committed Volunteer. Each of these positions was interdependent. Particular expectations, practices and values were attached to these positions. It is argued that the club operates according to multiple agendas and that FAC is a complex and dynamic social phenomenon that is practised differently by the three groups of key players.