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Talking talent: Narratives of youth sports selection
Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Barn- och ungdomsvetenskapliga institutionen.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-8684-3724
2017 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

In sports, there seems to be an eternal interest in discovering young talents and refining them into elite adult athletes. The dilemma of selecting talent, while at the same time ensuring every child´s right to participate, needs to be addressed and have consequences in social practice. This dissertation elucidates the discourse of selection and the process of selecting young sporting talents during final selection camps for youth national teams in football, hockey and floorball in Sweden. More specifically, the aim is to analyze how talent selection is organizationally legitimized, how “selectability” is produced in interaction and how specific narratives are used in success-stories. The empirical material includes research interviews, performance appraisal interviews (between district or national team coaches and the player) and field studies during ongoing final selection camp. Drawing on a discursive-narrative approach, the aim is to investigate how selection is discursively legitimized and, by using narrative analysis, how positioning in talk-in-interaction functions.

The first article investigates the construction of legitimate selection within the Swedish Sports Confederation by analyzing their organizational documents, sport journals and literature for coach education. The findings show how a specific set of narratives are used to legitimize selection and how legitimacy works both individually to those within the selection system and on a wider arena of welfare politics. The second article investigates the co-construction of selectability in small story-interaction during interviews between the coach and a player in the final selection camp. The analyses highlight how this narrative genre produces certain stories and preferred positions. The third article analyzes how the young participants, in research interviews during final selection camp, uses discursively shared narratives to produce personal stories of success. The findings illustrate how the personal stories of success are balancing the dilemmatic space, positioning yourself as outstanding and at the same time appear a humble team player.

The principal contribution of this dissertation is to show how talent is organizationally legitimized and how selectability is produced in interaction, as well as illustrate how specific stories are used in stories of success. This work investigates the discursive framework for selection and how rationalities for talent selection are produced (and reproduced) and co-constructed in narrative interaction. In this apparatus of selection it takes more than physical talent to be chosen; it takes talking talent.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stockholm: Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University , 2017. , s. 139
Nyckelord [en]
talent, selection, talent in sports, narrative analysis, narrative genre, discourse, discursively shared narratives, positioning
Nationell ämneskategori
Annan samhällsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
barn- och ungdomsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138204ISBN: 978-91-7649-616-9 (tryckt)ISBN: 978-91-7649-617-6 (digital)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138204DiVA, id: diva2:1066264
Disputation
2017-03-10, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (Svenska)
Opponent
Handledare
Anmärkning

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.

Tillgänglig från: 2017-02-15 Skapad: 2017-01-17 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-08-25Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. Searching for Talent: The Construction of Legitimate Selection in Sports
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Searching for Talent: The Construction of Legitimate Selection in Sports
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Scandinavian Sports Studies Forum, ISSN 2000-088X, Vol. 6, s. 85-105Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyzes talent selection within Swedish Sports. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which this process of legitimacy is produced in the case of children and adolescents. The article involves a discourse analytical approach where organizational policy documents, annuals for operation, educational coach literature constitute the corpus of data. The aim is to document how problems of legitimizing talent selection are handled within the organization through the use of different discursive repertoires. The purpose is to deconstruct explicit statements and underlying suppositions through with the current process of selection is legitimized.

The research material allows us access into how the process for talent selection constitutes a significant part of a discursive apparatus of selection. In order to make the process of selection appear neutral, discursive work is played out in order to make the process appear fair and unbiased. Furthermore, this article shows how the production of the legitimate selection works in two directions, both individually and politically. The process of selection is being rhetorically displayed as legitimate to those within the system, as well as a Swedish egalitarian welfare politic at large.

Nyckelord
talent selection, apparatus, constructing legitimacy, policy analysis, technicization
Nationell ämneskategori
Idrottsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
barn- och ungdomsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121744 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2015-10-15 Skapad: 2015-10-15 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-01-31Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Talent Production in Interaction: Performance Appraisal Interviews in Talent Selection Camps
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Talent Production in Interaction: Performance Appraisal Interviews in Talent Selection Camps
2017 (Engelska)Ingår i: Communication & Sport, ISSN 2167-4795, E-ISSN 2167-4809, Vol. 5, nr 1, s. 110-129Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

In sports, there is an extensive interest in identifying and selecting talented children in order to develop elite adult athletes. The process of selecting and screening talents involves not only physical and technical skills but also efforts to find adequate personality traits. Therefore, different types of performance appraisal interviews (PAIs) are becoming increasingly common within the field. Departing from fieldwork in two selection camps for Swedish youth national teams in soccer and hockey, we will take a closer look at the PAIs employed during these camps. This article takes on a narrative approach, emphasizing PAI as a narrative genre and a framework for a specific form of interaction. Our findings show how eligibility is performed in interaction through following three practices: (i) showcasing gratitude without tipping into flattery, (ii) using temporality as a way of displaying developmental potential, and (iii) adopting the role of the self-reflecting subject. This genre of interviews not only produces certain practices but also preferred subject positions and narratives. The PAI is thus a narrative genre where the players are encouraged to perform talent in order to appear selectable.

Nyckelord
talent selection, performance appraisal interviews, narrative analysis, small stories
Nationell ämneskategori
Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
barn- och ungdomsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137709 (URN)10.1177/2167479515591789 (DOI)000410629200007 ()
Tillgänglig från: 2017-01-10 Skapad: 2017-01-10 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-10-16Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Talent stories in youth sports: Discursively shared narratives of success
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Talent stories in youth sports: Discursively shared narratives of success
2017 (Engelska)Ingår i: Narrative Inquiry, ISSN 1387-6740, E-ISSN 1569-9935, Vol. 27, nr 1, s. 47-65Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Success stories are a frequently investigated genre of shared cultural narratives. This paper will pay particular attention to success stories in sports and investigate how young participants in selection camps in soccer and hockey are using a set of shared narratives in order to produce their personal stories of success. By looking at narratives-in-interaction in this specific context, these interviews are investigated as a narrative genre. The analysis shows how a set of shared narratives are used in storylines in order to legitimize the personal story of success and how a number of dilemmatic spaces are addressed. This study shows how personal success stories are intimately tied to “discursively shared narratives” and how this context constitutes a specific narrative framework.

Nyckelord
success-stories, talents in sports, talent selection, culturally shared narratives, narrative genre, discursively shared narratives
Nationell ämneskategori
Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
barn- och ungdomsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145958 (URN)10.1075/ni.27.1.03kil (DOI)000407969600003 ()
Tillgänglig från: 2017-08-21 Skapad: 2017-08-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-09-18Bibliografiskt granskad

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