Qualitative Research in Sport Sciences—An Introduction


  • Reinhard Stelter University of Copenhagen
  • Andrew Sparkes University of Exeter
  • Ina Hunger Georg-August-Universität Göttingen




qualitative research, sport sciences, sport psychology, physical education, coaching, ethics, ethnography


Qualitative research has its own particular strengths and therefore is able to grasp the multidimensionality of meanings, contexts, unanticipated phenomena, processes and explanations which can be found in the world of sport, games and physical activity. The article gives an overview over the different subject fields and articles covered by this special issue of the Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research on sport science(s). URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs030124


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Author Biographies

Reinhard Stelter, University of Copenhagen

Reinhard STELTER is an Associate Professor in the Psychology of Sport at the University of Copenhagen. He is the Head of the Department of Physical Education, Pedagogy and Psychology at the Institute of Exercise and Sport Science. He gained his PhD in psychology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and both his M.A. in sport science and history and his BA in sociology at the University of Kiel, Germany. He is trained in psychotherapy. Currently, he is the President of the Danish Forum of Sport Psychology, member of the managing council of FEPSAC, the European Association of Sport Psychology. He is the President of the 11th European Congress of Sport Psychology in Copenhagen (http://www.fepsac2003.dk/), 22-27 July 2003. His main research is in the area of self and identity, theory of the body, learning processes, coaching, and children in sport, where he predominantly uses different qualitative methods. He has published several books (in Danish and German) in the area of sport and exercise psychology.

Andrew Sparkes, University of Exeter

Andrew C. SPARKES (PhD) is a Professor of Social Theory and Director of the Qualitative Research Unit in the School of Sport & Health Sciences at the University of Exeter. His research interests are eclectic and include the following: interrupted body projects and the narrative reconstruction of self; embodiment and identity construction through sport and physical activity; narratives of injury, illness, and disability; the lives and careers of marginal individuals and groups. He draws upon multiple forms of qualitative analyses and aspires to represent the findings using a variety of genres that range from realist tales to ethnographic fiction. He has published extensively in a range of leading journals associated with sociology, psychology, education, and health. His most recent book is Telling Tales in Sport and Physical Activity: A Qualitative Journey [2002. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Press].

Ina Hunger, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Ina HUNGER (PhD) is a lecturer and a research assistant at the University of Osnabrück, Germany; she studied ethnography/social anthropology. Furthermore, she got her certification in teaching sport science, German language, pedagogy and psychology as a high school teacher from the University of Göttingen. Her PhD is in the area of educational and cultural sciences from the University of Osnabrück. Research areas: Movement culture and everyday life, non-participation in relation to sport, qualitative methods, and children in sport




How to Cite

Stelter, R., Sparkes, A., & Hunger, I. (2003). Qualitative Research in Sport Sciences—An Introduction. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-4.1.744