1st Edition

The Nordic Model and Physical Culture

    268 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the relationships between the Nordic social democratic welfare system (‘The Nordic Model’) and physical culture, across the domains of sport, education, and public space.

    Presenting important new empirical research, it helps us to understand how the paradoxical blend of social democracy and liberalism in the Nordic countries influences physical culture, which in turn contributes to a quality of life that ranks highest in the world. Drawing on perspectives from sociology, cultural studies, history, education, political science, outdoor studies, and urban studies, the book explores topics such as dance education for sport students, doping in cross-country skiing, outdoor education, the active body, and the ideology of public parks. It includes research material from across the region, including Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, and Denmark.

    This is fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in physical culture, sport studies, leisure studies, or outdoor studies, as well as sociologists or political scientists with an interest in Nordic politics, culture, and society.

    Introduction: The Nordic model and physical culture

    Mikkel B. Tin, Frode Telseth, Jan Ove Tangen

    Part I: Education

    1. Creating new sport policy: The case of Finnish Schools on the Move

    Kati Lehtonen and Kaarlo Laine

    2. Nature in the history of physical education and in the lives of Norwegians today

    Pål Augestad

    3. Let’s move: Embodiment, leadership, and dance in education

    Helle Winther

    4. Exploring democratic relations in higher dance education: A case study

    Gunn Engelsrud and Camilla Myhre

    Part II: Sports

    5. Changing constructions of childhood challenging the Swedish sport model: ‘Football was for fun – I exercise for my health’

    Susanna Hedenborg

    6. The roots of Icelandic physical culture and sport in the Saga Age

    Thorolfur Thorlindsson and Vidar Halldorsson

    7. The Finnish sport system in transition: From a mixed model back to the Nordic sport movement?

    Kati Lehtonen and Jarmo Mäkinen

    8. Discourses on the legitimate understanding of Norwegian and Nordic elite sport: Theoretical reflections on an empirical case

    Nils Asle Bergsgard and Frode Telseth

    9. The Johaug doping case: Public reactions and sociological explanations

    Jan Ove Tangen and Bieke Gils

    Part III: Public Space

    10. Scandinavian friluftsliv (outdoor life) and the Nordic model: Passions and paradoxes

    Kirsti Pedersen Gurholt and Per Ingvar Haukeland

    11. Nature is the new culture: The active body as a citizen typology on the rise

    Even Smith Wergeland

    12. Water competence and new Norwegians: Outdoor teaching as an inclusive-exclusive learning space

    Egil Galaaen Gjølme, Jon Sundan, Tone Pernille Østern, and Sunniva Hovde

    13. Public parks in the North: Designed to liberate or discipline our moving bodies?

    Mikkel B. Tin

    Afterword: The Nordic model and physical cultures in the global context

    Richard Giulianotti


    Mikkel B. Tin is Professor of Philosophy of Culture in the Department of Culture, Religion and Social Studies at the University of South-Eastern Norway.

    Frode Telseth is Lecturer in the Department of Sports, Physical Education and Outdoor Studies at the University of South-Eastern Norway.

    Jan Ove Tangen is Professor of Sport Sociology in the Department of Sports, Physical Education and Outdoor Studies at the University of South-Eastern Norway.

    Richard Giulianotti is Professor of Sociology in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, UK. He is also Professor II in the Department of Sports, Physical Education and Outdoor Studies at the University of South-Eastern Norway.