Children's Lives in Southern Europe
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Children's Lives in Southern Europe

Contemporary Challenges and Risks

Edited by Lourdes Gaitán, Yannis Pechtelidis, Catarina Tomás and Natália Fernandes

This interdisciplinary book provides a sociological view of the contemporary experiences of children in Southern Europe. Focusing on regions deeply affected by the 2008 economic crisis, it offers a detailed investigation into the impact of economic downturn and austerity on the lives of children.
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Chapter 4: Institutionalization and familization of childhood through leisuresport activities in Italy

Caterina Satta


Sports are an essential part of the lives of millions of European citizens. In Italy, organized or informal sports activities are currently practiced by most children and young people, not only for purely physical reasons, but also for their socio-educational values and health benefits. In addition to this, children’s sports have recently faced an unexpected transformation, becoming a ‘family leisure activity’, given the amount of time that parents spend following and supporting their sons and daughters. Today’s parents are responding to new expectations about parenting: they are expected to be ‘involved’ parents who actively engage with their children but are also deemed responsible for ensuring children have a good childhood. Given the central role that sports play in meeting this challenge, children’s involvement in sport is a key site for observing the construction of modern childhood and the new patterns of parent/child relations in Italy.

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