Sociology of sport lacks information on the proper demographic description of athletes who are selected into a national sport talent care program. Therefore, the current study attempted to fill the gap in this area. Research from abroad has demonstrated that whilst sport appears to be a democratic social environment, the initial opportunities are not exactly equal. The majority of elite athletes come from the upper-middle class rather than the lower social classes (Coakley 1997, Eitzen & Sage 1997). The objective of the current study was to identify the social status of young athletes, from the Central School of Sports in Budapest, who took part in a Hungarian government-sponsored national sports talent care program. Another objective of the study was to assess possible changes on the social ladder with time. We were able to address the second issue through the examination of data collected 30 years ago in the same milieu and to compare it - with certain precautions - with a similar dataset obtained in the course of the current work. The interpretation of the data was based on the statistical analysis of the examined periods. The main findings indicate that most athletes in the Central School of Sports come from an upper-middle class social background, but there were some differences in the various types of sport. For example, pentathletes and water polo players come from the most advantaged social class. It appears then, that membership in a given social class is more important than the fair skill-based selection process.
A budapesti összehasonlító elemzésekhez a Szonda Ipsos 2004-es reprezentatív sportfelméréséből azokat a személyeket válogattam ki, akik budapesti lakosok és életkoruk 37 és 44 év között van. (ebbe a korosztályba tartozik a KSI-s szülők több mint fele)
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