Sport's Moral Contracts

Fil dr Pia Lundquist Wanneberg:
Sport's Moral Contracts: An Analysis of Swedish Sport 1930 to 1950

This study examines moral contracts between Swedish society and Swedish sport from 1930 to 1950.

The theoretical basis is social contract theory and the methodological basis is a qualitative text analysis. The source material mainly comprises the daily press.

The results show that during this period sport actively negotiated a new moral contract. By aligning itself with two pillars of contemporary society, the church and the adult education movement, sport gained moral gravitas and emerged as a serious movement. This contributed to sport being given the mandate to play a part in the development of the new democratic welfare state that evolved during this period.

But one group of people was excluded from the negotiations over what role sport should play in society: women. One explanation is that the requirement that also women should be a part of what sport represented was not a necessary condition to give it legitimacy.