Wetenschap Leestijd: 16 november 2009
The dream of social mobility: ethnic minority players in Danish football clubs. Agergaard, S. & Sorenson, J.K. (2009)

The purpose of this essay is to inquire into the prospects of social mobility among young ethnic minority males who are at the start of their career in Danish football clubs. The essay is based on a local field study which involved interviews with 10 talented ethnic minority players, and eight coaches and club leaders in two ethnic minority clubs, three clubs that we refer to as transit clubs, and one premier league club in a Danish provincial city.

Bourdieu’s concepts are used to describe the players’ chances of social mobility and the observed disparity between the prospects for ethnic minority players from a ghetto area and those from other parts of the city. According to Bourdieu, the players compete not only for a position in a particular football team but also for an improvement in their position within a stratification system (in this case, the field of football). The analysis shows that the possibility of social mobility is here dependent on whether the players’ physical capital is acknowledged and converted into cultural, social and economic capital.

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