The development of social capital through football and running: studying an intervention program for inactive women

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Apr:20 Suppl 1:118-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01123.x.


This article examines the development of social capital through the use and dynamics of different types of stories ("I,""we" and "they") as described by Robert D. Putnam. The data come from a research project in which inactive women participated in a 16-week intervention program of physical exercise, either in the form of football or running. The study shows a positive development of social capital in the two different types of physical activity. The I-stories show themselves to be central to bonding within the two groups and bridging outside the groups (developing and/or creating networks). The study also points to the importance of the activity itself for internal bonding illustrated through we- and they-stories. Our data indicate that team sports, such as football, may have an advantage over individual sports in the development of social capital.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Middle Aged
  • Running*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Soccer*
  • Young Adult