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Learning to play: how working-class ‘lads’ negotiate PE in a working-class secondary school in England

Scattergood, Andrew ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4122-1155 (2023) Learning to play: how working-class ‘lads’ negotiate PE in a working-class secondary school in England. Sport, Education and Society. pp. 1-15.

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This paper explores the ways in which working-class boys negotiated the content and delivery of physical education at a ‘typical’, white working-class secondary school located in the north of England. The study utilised a quasi-ethnographical case-study design conducted over a non-continuous three-month period involving covert and overt participant observation, guided conversations, and group interviews. A total of 48 key stage 4 (Year 10 and 11) male pupils were selected to take part in eight focus groups following the observation of approximately 340 key stage four (KS4) pupils in PE lessons. The data revealed that the vast majority of these male pupils arrived at the school with a narrow sporting repertoire as result of the upbringings and lifestyles made up of ‘traditional’ working-class activities such as football and fishing. Their strong predisposition for recreational involvement in these activities impacted directly on what the young males would, and could, do during PE at school and in this way were able to influence (to lesser and greater degrees) the content and delivery of their PE experiences. The findings of the study, therefore, go some way explaining how PE in many working-class secondary schools may come to influence the long standing, class-related adult participation anomalies that continue to exist in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2023.2206829
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7950

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