Contact person:
Tomas Peterson
  • Centrum för idrottsforskning
Responsible at Malmö University:
Tomas Peterson
Project members:
  • Daniel Bjärsholm
  • Linnéuniversitetet
Time frame:
01 January 2019 - 31 December 2020

About the project

In Sweden, there is a saying that ‘the church is in the middle of the village’. The term refers to the profound importance religion used to have in society, both in the’. ideological sense of believing and because of its role in the social organization of society. Today, one can almost say that the football pitch has taken its place. In the local sport club, generations of villagers take joint responsibility for sport activities and for the maintenance of the pitch. The club also constitutes a social network including parties and other activities.

What creates meaning?

What then characterizes sport activities that both create meaning for the participants and contribute to forming social communities for the individual, the group and the local community as a whole? What are the conditions for sustainable social activity related to sport? The Nordic sports model differs in many respects from how sport is organized in other countries and parts of the world. It is to a large extent based on voluntary work, with the vast majority of leaders, trainers and officials being parents working free of charge. At the same time, society heavily supports the sports movement, economically and in other ways. Society (parliament, government), however, expects things in return, like positive social effects in terms of meaningful leisure time combined with physical activity.

The phenomenon of social entrepreneurship

The aim of the project is to analyze the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship, with sports as it´s content and social development and a living countryside is the goal. The project group consist of researchers from Linnaeus University and Malmö University. Katarina Schenker is the project leader. The project was funded på the Kamprad Family Foundation 2014-2017, and today by CIF. The members from Malmö University are Daniel Bjärsholm and Camilla Strömberg (PhD-students) and professors Johan Norberg och Tomas Peterson.