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Spår: Om brädsportkultur, informella lärprocesser och identitet
Stockholm University, The Stockholm Institute of Education, Department of Social and Cultural Studies in Education .
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Traces : On board sports culture, informal learning processes and identity (English)
Abstract [en]

Today’s society is subject to an increased importance of aesthetics and an increasing individualism. New trends are adopted early by young people, which make it interesting to focus on how identity is formed and meanings are constructed in a youth culture context and in relation to ongoing societal processes of change.

The purpose of this dissertation is to interpret and analyse the construction of meaning within the skateboard and snowboard communities in the social and cultural contexts. In particular, this dissertation is about the relationship between three levels, cultural, practice and individual. The title “Traces” alludes to four analytical themes taking different tracks in the book; consumption, gender, place and identity that are reflected in different chapters. However, the individual leaves traces in culture as culture does in the individual. Furthermore, skaters and snowboarders leave actual tracks in their local geography.

Theoretically the study has a culture analysis approach with a semiotic base where five theories are intertwined. Johan Fornäs contributes with his interpretation on culture as system of signs and signifying practices, Stuart Hall adds the concept of representations, Kirsten Drotner provides her argumentation regarding aesthetic practices whilst Ulf Hannerz enriches the dissertation with his discussion on transnational culture-flows and the social diffusion of culture. Roger Säljö proposes a socio-cultural perspective of learning where learning is about participation in knowledge and skills. The method used is ethnographical. The multifaceted empirical material, from field studies and interviews, Swedish skateboard and snowboard magazines between 1978 to 2002, skateboard and snowboard videos, press articles, and websites, has been triangulated. In addition, there are three personal albums of skateboarder, snowboarder and surfer Ants Neo.

The study shows that there are stereotyped notions about what boarding means and what it means to be a boarder. These notions both create and are created by the boarders themselves but are also used by advertisers for products not related to board sports at all. These notions, based as they are on ideas of resistance and radicalism, serve to emphasise that boarding is masculine. Resistance takes concrete form in its attitude to organized sports and to multinational brands and in the unusual use of places in the urban environment. To be a boarder is, apart form the boarding skills required, to be also part and parcel of these attitudes.

The study explains how meaning and identity are created through informal learning processes in youth culture contexts. In these group-forming processes, both the individual and the community are formulated in social, cultural and aesthetic terms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: HLS Förlag , 2005. , 331 p.
Studies in educational sciences, ISSN 1400-478X ; 74
Keyword [en]
youth culture, sub culture, masculinities, skateboard, snowboard, identity, informal learning processes
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-330ISBN: 91-7656-583-1OAI: diva2:192569
Public defence
2005-02-04, aulan, Idrottshögskolan, Lidingövägen 1, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2005-01-10 Created: 2005-01-10 Last updated: 2012-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Bäckström, Åsa
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