I have worked several years as a researcher in sociology and studied consumption, ageing and various cultural stuff.
Couple of years ago I moved to a Research Center of Health Sciences. There my main tasks have been to evaluate various sports related projects and policies. During this work I have realized that a better undertanding of European processes and lives of European youth is useful and crucial in the future tasks.
1. A common theme in the projects I have been involved, is how to increase the physical activity of children and youth. To have any possibilities in advancing such an effort, a more thorough knowledge of youth lives is needed. I think this can not understood form only a national viewpoint.
2. The second aspect is that sport, culture and other leisure activities are organized by clubs on more or less voluntary basis. Although they now have to operate in a very commercialized environment. I am sure this will be affected by European regulations, probably quite soon.
3. There is currently a strong trend that sport should be seen as a tool in achieving ‘more important’ goals. Quite high expectations have been put to its possibilities to create better schools, integrate foreigners or minorities in society and creating participation and increasing the amount of ties between persons in society, giving young persons means of non-formal learning and job opportunities.
I hope that after this course I might have some more clues to what is going to happen and how to better grasp these themes.