Composite vignettes of Swedish male and female professional handball players’ career paths
Ekengren, J., Stambulova, N. B., Johnson, U., Carlsson, I.-M., & Ryba, T. V. (2020). Composite vignettes of Swedish male and female professional handball players’ career paths. Sport in Society, 23 (4), 595-612. doi:10.1080/17430437.2019.1599201
Published inSport in Society
The aim of this study was to describe gender-specific career paths of Swedish professional handball players. A reanalysis of Ekengren et al. (2018) career interviews with nine male and nine female players led to creating two composite vignettes using the athletes’ own words, accounted for typical features in the male and female players’ career paths. Seven themes were identified in the analysis of the men’s transcripts and eight themes derived from the women’s transcripts. Further, the themes of both vignettes were aligned with career stages described in our previous study (Ekengren et al. 2018). The male players’ vignette is interpreted as a performance narrative congruent with elite handball culture that promotes performance success and profitable professional contracts. The female players’ vignette is more holistic, embracing handball, studies, motherhood, and how they ought to be as Swedish women. Recommendations for future research are provided.