Taking inspiration from anthropology and migration studies our study on transnational athletes’ career trajectories adds to a growing body of psychological works on cultural transitions in sports-related migration. It is based on multi-sited fieldwork in sending and receiving contexts including semi-structured interviews with 20 current and former male footballers of West African origin who have moved to Scandinavian clubs. Having met various and particular challenges abroad, these athletes have continuously engaged in border-crossing practices to negotiate and overcome these. Their ongoing transcultural activities open a discussion whether transnational athletes’ experiences over their careers can be best conceptualized as acculturation and cultural adaptation processes. Doing so, we further discuss the consequences of an analytical distinction between a ‘home culture’ and a ‘new culture’ as suggested by the cultural transition model.

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Keywords acculturation, career, cultural transition model, Scandinavia, Transnational migration, West Africa
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2020.1702780, hdl.handle.net/1765/123013
Journal Sport in Society
Ungruhe, C. (Christian), & Agergaard, S. (Sine). (2019). Cultural transitions? Transcultural and border-crossing activities among sport labor migrants. Sport in Society. doi:10.1080/17430437.2020.1702780