Historical Social Research

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Stine Frydendal Nielsen, Laila Ottesen & Lone Friis ThingEstablished and Outsider Relations among Students Involved in a Health Promotion Intervention in a Danish High School [Abstract]

The paper considers a study in a Danish high school in which students were involved in enhancing physical activity in their own school. International research points out that adolescents are not as physically active as recommended. Moreover, studies show that maintaining health promotion interventions is difficult. Consequently, there is an increasing demand for active participation by the target groups. The study is based on the interpretative, process-oriented methodology developed by Baur and Ernst. They base this approach on Norbert Elias’ argument on involvement and detachment and the importance of theoretical pointers to insure that the researcher does not lose herself in the research field. Elias unfolds this methodological approach in “The Established and the Outsiders.” By applying this conceptualization, this study shows that some of the involved students found their role and their identity as “sports-students” difficult, and it compromised their social life in the school, which relates to aspects that does not always correspond with the current health norms. The paper discusses the relations between the involved students and the other students in the school, and what consequences this may have for health and physical activity.

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