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Cultural transitions and adaptation in a transnational athletic career
KIHU – Research Institute for Olympic Sports Jyväskylä, Finland.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI). (IHF)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6198-0784
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
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2015 (English)In: / [ed] O. Schmid and R. Seiler, 2015Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

With the rising globalization of the sports economy, athletic careers have become increasingly transnational. In comparison with an international career, a transnational athletic career is more open-ended regarding the countries of one’s origin, settlement, and retirement. The production of mobility and adaptation to a cultural transition are critical phases for initiating and maintaining the transnational career. In this paper, we conceptualize cultural transition as a quasi-normative career transition, typically coinciding with other within-career transitions and career termination. In other words, cultural transitions are normative or predictable in the course of transnational athletic careers. The paper is based on data gathered for the research of transnational athletes’ career development and transitions in Nordic countries—that is, participants had at least one migration to or from Finland, Sweden, Norway, or Denmark during the duration of their career. The participants were both male and female, either professional or amateur in various sports, and their ages varied from 18 to 37. Narrative inquiry from the life story perspective (Atkinson, 1998) was used to elicit and analyze 15 athletes’ narrations of the ways in which their careers were negotiated in a complex sociocultural space spanning physical and discursive borders (i.e., geographic, linguistic and socio-political). Through narrative analysis, we discerned several interconnected storylines related to elite sporting (sub)cultures, gender and ethnicity discourses embedded in a particular sociocultural context, and transformative life transitions in and through which personal meanings were reconstructed. We suggest that (1) meaning reconstruction and (2) repositioning in social networks constitute the key psychological processes associated with the cultural transition. The results moreover empirically substantiated the concepts of cultural transition and adaptation, which are the focus of this presentation. The present research also contributes to clarifying the emerging concepts and establishing a common language in career transitions literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-29941OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-29941DiVA: diva2:877686
Conference
FEPSAC 2015, 14th European Congress of Sport Psychology, Sport Psychology – Theories and Applications for Performance, Health and Humanity, 14 - 19 July, 2015, Bern, Switzerland
Available from: 2015-12-07 Created: 2015-12-07 Last updated: 2016-02-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
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