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The academic-sporting dual career of under-17 football players in the São Paulo state championship: challenges and actions from a sociological perspective

Grant number: 21/14621-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): January 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology
Principal Investigator:Renato Francisco Rodrigues Marques
Grantee:Iuri Salim de Souza
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


In childhood and adolescence, many individuals are involved in sports practices and remain engaged until adulthood, whether with the dream of reaching the elite level or to remain engaged as recreational practitioners. In this process, it is important to develop different dimensions of these young people, not only for sport, but in relation to the entire social context in which they are inserted. Among the most relevant are the trajectory in formal education. Reconciling sports development with schooling seems to be a challenge for many children and adolescents who are also involved in sports. It is sometimes noticed the existence of conflicts between school institutions and sports clubs, which can harm the young person who plans to reconcile the two routines (school and sports), sometimes influencing the linearity of the school career, or the dedication and investment in the sport. This simultaneous dedication to at least two different careers, whether sports, school and/or vocational, is called a dual career. Thus, understanding how young soccer athletes experience the tensions and challenges of the academic-sports dual career will allow offering theoretical subsidies for schools, clubs, families and government institutions to plan and intervene in the processes of simultaneous dedication of student-athletes. The present study has as its central questions: how do student-athletes who compete in the São Paulo under-17 football championship perceive the relationship between the sports/work world and the school world in the new high school? How do the social background, experiences and relationships with different agents interact with the perspectives and choices related to the careers of these young players? How are the challenges and barriers faced by young soccer players to reconcile sports and academic careers in the state of São Paulo? The general objective is to investigate how players of the under-17 category, participants of the São Paulo soccer championship, linked to teams based in the metropolitan region of Ribeirão Preto/SP, perceive and try to reconcile the simultaneous routines of training, competitions and studies. This will be a quali-quantitative study. The quantitative analysis will consist of the elaboration and application of a questionnaire with objective questions to be answered by the student-athletes. The qualitative stage will be based on semi-structured interviews with student-athletes, under-17 soccer players. For the analysis of the interviews, the method of Reflective Thematic Analysis will be used. Pierre Bourdieu's Reflective Sociology will be the main theoretical framework for the interpretation and discussion of the results, with special attention to the analysis of the process of constitution of habitus and cultural heritage of young athletes. A literature that offers socio-anthropological analyzes on the participation of young soccer players in Brazil will also be used as a theoretical framework, in order to promote reflections and analyzes relating the results found in this study with different contexts and dimensions of the lives of these young athletes and their constructions of career.

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