Section for Child and Youth Studies
I am primarilly teaching on the teacher education programmmes on the course Social relations in school and the teacher as a leader. I also teach on the master´s programme in child and youth studies and in discourse analysis. I am also supervising degree work on different levels.
I primarilly work within the fields of discourse and narrative analysis. The research area involves child and youth sports and especially talent management and the selection of young sporting talents. My current project is focusing in fatherhood in youth sports coaching.
Kilger, M. (2022). Psychologizing childhood in the reality show Biggest loser: Temporal ordering and narration of a fat identity. Narrative Inquiry. Online First.
Karlsson, J., Kilger, M., Bäckström, Å., & Redelius, K. (2022). Selling youth sport: The production and promotion of immaterial values in commercialised child and youth sport. Sport, Education & Society. Online First. Doi:org/10.1080/13573322.2022.2057462
Kilger, M. (2020). Dad as a coach: Voluntary work in youth sports. Education Sciences. 10(5), 132. Doi: org/10.3390/educsci10050132
Kilger, M. & Blomberg, H. (2020). Governing sports through the brain: constructing cognitive executive function as a way of predicting sporting success. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy: Journal of the British Philosophy of Sport Association, 14(2), 206-225. Doi: org/10.1080/17511321.2019.1631880
Kilger, M. (2019). From hard work to grit: On the discursive formation of talent. Scandinavian Sports Studies Forum, 10(2), 29-50.
Kilger, M. & Aronsson, K. (2019). Being a good sport: Players’ uptake to coaches’ joking in interviews for the youth national team. Sports Coaching Review. Online. Doi: 10.1080/21640629.2019.1605727.
Kilger, M. (2019). Talangurval och att prognostisera framtida potential. Tidskriften Ikaros, 15(1), 11-14.
Kilger, M. (2019). Blir du valbar lille vän? I Centrum för barnkulturforskning, skriftserie 2018. . Barnnorm och kroppsform – om ideal och sexualitet i barnkulturen. (ss. 62-74). Stockholm: Centrum för barnkulturforskning.
Kilger, M. & Jonsson, R. (2017) "Talent Production in Interaction: Performance Appraisal Interviews in Talent Selection Camps". Communication & Sport, 5(1), 110-129. Doi: 10.1177/2167479515591789
Kilger, M.& Börjesson, M. (2015) Searching for Talent: The Construction of Legitimate Selection in Sports. Scandinavian Sports Studies Forum, 6(3), 85-105.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Selling youth sport
2022. Jesper Karlsson (et al.). Sport, Education and SocietyArticle
The contexts in which young people participate in sport are diverse. In Scandinavia, as in many other countries, child and youth sport is mainly organised in non-profit, membership-based and voluntary driven sports clubs. In Sweden, this model is now challenged by commercial businesses providing child and youth sport services. The overall aim of this article is to provide empirically based knowledge about these ongoing and largely unexplored commercialisation processes. The focus of the article is to illuminate how commercial businesses produce immaterial values through the promotion of sport services. In this article, we have explored the cultural and social values produced and promoted by commercial businesses in youth sport. Drawing on the website communications of eight commercial businesses from four different commercial strands, we use the concept of immaterial labour to consider the values produced when child and youth sport is turned into a desirable product on the market. The values generated from the texts on the selected websites are the immaterial values of (i) competence, (ii) individually adjusted training and, (iii) happiness. These values are enunciated differently by the businesses in the different strands. We situate the findings in relation to western social and cultural values and discuss the potential consequences of these value productions for contemporary ideas about youth sport and the way it should be organised.
2017. Magnus Kilger (et al.).Thesis (Doc)
In sports, there seems to be an eternal interest in discovering young talents and refining them into elite adult athletes. The dilemma of selecting talent, while at the same time ensuring every child´s right to participate, needs to be addressed and have consequences in social practice. This dissertation elucidates the discourse of selection and the process of selecting young sporting talents during final selection camps for youth national teams in football, hockey and floorball in Sweden. More specifically, the aim is to analyze how talent selection is organizationally legitimized, how “selectability” is produced in interaction and how specific narratives are used in success-stories. The empirical material includes research interviews, performance appraisal interviews (between district or national team coaches and the player) and field studies during ongoing final selection camp. Drawing on a discursive-narrative approach, the aim is to investigate how selection is discursively legitimized and, by using narrative analysis, how positioning in talk-in-interaction functions.
The first article investigates the construction of legitimate selection within the Swedish Sports Confederation by analyzing their organizational documents, sport journals and literature for coach education. The findings show how a specific set of narratives are used to legitimize selection and how legitimacy works both individually to those within the selection system and on a wider arena of welfare politics. The second article investigates the co-construction of selectability in small story-interaction during interviews between the coach and a player in the final selection camp. The analyses highlight how this narrative genre produces certain stories and preferred positions. The third article analyzes how the young participants, in research interviews during final selection camp, uses discursively shared narratives to produce personal stories of success. The findings illustrate how the personal stories of success are balancing the dilemmatic space, positioning yourself as outstanding and at the same time appear a humble team player.
The principal contribution of this dissertation is to show how talent is organizationally legitimized and how selectability is produced in interaction, as well as illustrate how specific stories are used in stories of success. This work investigates the discursive framework for selection and how rationalities for talent selection are produced (and reproduced) and co-constructed in narrative interaction. In this apparatus of selection it takes more than physical talent to be chosen; it takes talking talent.
Talent Production in Interaction
2017. Magnus Kilger, Rickard Jonsson. Communication & Sport 5 (1), 110-129Article
In sports, there is an extensive interest in identifying and selecting talented children in order to develop elite adult athletes. The process of selecting and screening talents involves not only physical and technical skills but also efforts to find adequate personality traits. Therefore, different types of performance appraisal interviews (PAIs) are becoming increasingly common within the field. Departing from fieldwork in two selection camps for Swedish youth national teams in soccer and hockey, we will take a closer look at the PAIs employed during these camps. This article takes on a narrative approach, emphasizing PAI as a narrative genre and a framework for a specific form of interaction. Our findings show how eligibility is performed in interaction through following three practices: (i) showcasing gratitude without tipping into flattery, (ii) using temporality as a way of displaying developmental potential, and (iii) adopting the role of the self-reflecting subject. This genre of interviews not only produces certain practices but also preferred subject positions and narratives. The PAI is thus a narrative genre where the players are encouraged to perform talent in order to appear selectable.
Searching for Talent
2015. Magnus Kilger, Mats Börjesson. Scandinavian Sports Studies Forum 6, 85-105Article
This article analyzes talent selection within Swedish Sports. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which this process of legitimacy is produced in the case of children and adolescents. The article involves a discourse analytical approach where organizational policy documents, annuals for operation, educational coach literature constitute the corpus of data. The aim is to document how problems of legitimizing talent selection are handled within the organization through the use of different discursive repertoires. The purpose is to deconstruct explicit statements and underlying suppositions through with the current process of selection is legitimized.
The research material allows us access into how the process for talent selection constitutes a significant part of a discursive apparatus of selection. In order to make the process of selection appear neutral, discursive work is played out in order to make the process appear fair and unbiased. Furthermore, this article shows how the production of the legitimate selection works in two directions, both individually and politically. The process of selection is being rhetorically displayed as legitimate to those within the system, as well as a Swedish egalitarian welfare politic at large.
Talent stories in youth sports
2017. Magnus Kilger. Narrative Inquiry 27 (1), 47-65Article
Success stories are a frequently investigated genre of shared cultural narratives. This paper will pay particular attention to success stories in sports and investigate how young participants in selection camps in soccer and hockey are using a set of shared narratives in order to produce their personal stories of success. By looking at narratives-in-interaction in this specific context, these interviews are investigated as a narrative genre. The analysis shows how a set of shared narratives are used in storylines in order to legitimize the personal story of success and how a number of dilemmatic spaces are addressed. This study shows how personal success stories are intimately tied to “discursively shared narratives” and how this context constitutes a specific narrative framework.
Kaxigt och ödmjukt i unga talangers framgångsberättelser
2017. Magnus Kilger. Svensk IdrottsforskningArticle
Ödmjukhet är viktigt i berättelsen om sin egen idrottsframgång. Hos dagens unga idrottstalanger finns även andra sätt att göra sig valbar – att framhålla sig själv som exceptionellt bra.