Publication Details

Osterlind, M. & Wright, J. (2014). If sport's the solution then what's the problem? The social significance of sport in the moral governing of 'good' and 'healthy' citizens in Sweden, 1922-1998. Sport, Education and Society, 19 (8), 973-990.


All over the westernised world, sport has been promoted as a 'solution' to many of the social 'problems' and challenges that face modern societies. This study draw on Foucault's concept of governmentality to examine the ways in which Swedish Government Official Reports on sport, from 1922 to 1998, define social problems and legitimate governing, and sport as a solution, in the name of benefiting Swedish society. The analysis shows that citizens' 'good' and 'healthy' behaviour and bodies are in focus of problematisation throughout the studied period. In relation to this, sport is seen as an important tool and solution. Parallel with increased critique of sport in contemporary times, a neo-liberal governmentality is embraced which in turn affect how 'problems' and 'solutions' are thought of in individualistic and rational ways.



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