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Research projects

Coaching boys into men. A project on sports, gender equality and masculinity

About this project

Project information

Project status



Daniel Alsarve

Research subject

Research environments

Today, sport as a cultural phenomena have a large spectator base. Every year the National Hockey League (NHL) gathers approximately 20-22 million spectators and the Premier League (soccer) attracts almost 14 million people per year in total attendance. In 2014 the Tour de France as a singe sporting event had an estimated attendance of 12-15 million spectators. These sports are also huge TV sports attracting millions of viewers. This means that sports everyday, in different ways and at different levels, influence children and adolescents through media as well as through sporting activities. The general question this project ask is: If sports valuate strength, endurance and hardness where violence and aggressiveness are ways to get successful – how does this influence society and, more specific, what kind of men and masculinity do sports foster and foment? 

The overall aim of this project is two-folded. First, we examine, through interviews, observations and literature studies, the contents and conditions of sports' gendering processes in general and masculinizing processes in particular. The main question is: how do sports, in general, foster boys (and girls) into men (and women)? Secondly, the aim of the project is also to help sport organizations, through an improvement of methods and materials, to expand and deepen norm critical perspectives as well as a realization of the gender equality objectives set by the Swedish Sports Confederation.

The project extends over 3 years and is funded by the Swedish Inheritance Fund (Allmänna arvsfonden). It is a cooperative project that includes the County Administrative Board, Men for Gender Equality and the Örebro County Sports Administrative Board. It gathers researchers and sport practitioner, politicians, journalists and other strategically important competences.   


Research funding bodies

  • Örebro County Administrative Board