Unified in a health promotion and legitimacy perspective

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Jonathan Spørring Højgaard
4. semester, Sports Science, Master (Master Programme)
The literature involving sport with athletes with mental disorders indicate that they feel more
socially included when they participate in sports, and thus the communities that come with it.
The purpose of this study is to examine if Unified sports provides a more meaningful
approach for athletes with mental disorders. Furthermore, the study examines whether the
concept of Unified is being used by sports associations for a legitimate purpose. The
theoretical framework of this study is Etienne Wenger’s ‘community of practice’, where
Aaron Antonovsky’s ‘sense of coherence’ was applied for the athletes, and the chapters from
Rasmus Nissen and Ulrik Wagner of ‘New-institutional theory’ were used to examine the
sports associations. The cases of the study are the extreme and the paradigmatic case from
Bent Flyvbjerg. Furthermore seven qualitative interviews were conducted, which provide
insight into the athletes’ experiences and the experiences in the sports associations. The
empiricism was analyzed through the different tematics.
The results of this study indicates that Unified Sports contribute to a more meaningful
approach to sport for athletes with mental disorders, and the use of Unified has no legitimate
purpose for sports associations.
Publication date31 May 2023
Number of pages58
ID: 532410942