SSEL Cluster Conference on Social Responsibility in Challenging Times, University of Tartu/Estonia, 7–8th October 2021
No Individual Well-Being, no Social Equity? Psychosocial Disconcertment in Physical Education
Ina Hunger, Benjamin Zander, Babette Kirchner, Darren Meineke, Sarah Metz, Martin Röttger
Institute of Sport Science, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany
School education intends to improve the physical and mental well-
being of students. However, especially physical education (PE) can also
massively endanger it. Existing studies regarding students’ health
primarily focus on physical injuries. But how psychosocial aspects, like
experiences of disconcertment, impact the individual well-being is
rarely researched. 
The study (duration: 2020–24) investigates, which didactic frameworks
and social actions in PE evoke and/or increase psychosocially unsettling
situations and potential lifelong effects. 
Divided into three sub-studies, the research questions are:
•How and when do students recognize situations as disconcerting?
•What strategies do they develop to solve or avoid further
•What are the health-related long-term effects (former) students
Prof. Dr. Ina Hunger and Dr. Benjamin Zander
Institute of Sport Science, Department of Sports Education/Didactics
Sprangerweg 2, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
•Overview into associated social and didactic
settings that may induce disconcertment
•Focus: who is affected, in what way, under
•Insight into subjective perspectives of those
•Focus: impact on affected person‘s everyday
life and biography
•Overview into societal discourses
•Focus: legitimate speaker positions,
affections and consequences
concerning disconcertment, health
and body norms
The data shows that students experience disconcertment in many ways during
physical education. The subjective interpretation as disconcertment is often
correlated with other categories of social inequality (such as class, gender,
Physical education acts as a framework in which:
•social norms of health and body are reproduced,
•social inequity can endanger subjective well-being,
•social equity is being risked.
Following the Grounded Theory methodology,
a wide range of data is collected and evaluated:
Networking – we are interested!
Concerning research on
•disconcertment & similar topics
•sportive & didactic settings
•national & international
Federal state insurances of
Hesse, Berlin, Brandenburg
 Munk, M., & Agergaard, S. (2015). The Processes of Inclusion and Exclusion in Physical Education: A Social-Relational Perspective. Social Inclusion,
 Mierzwinski, M., Cock, S., & Velija, P. (2019). A Position Statement o n Social Justice, Physical Education, and Bullying: A Figurational Sociological
Perspective. Quest, 71(2), 215–226.
 Røset, L., Green, K., & Thurston, M. (202 0). ‘Even if you don’t care…you do care after all’: ‘Othering’ and physical education in Norway. European
Physical Education Review, 26(3), 622–641.
 Berger, P.L., & Luckmann, T. (1967). The Social Co nstruction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Anchor.
 Hunger, I., & Böhlke, N. (2018). On the Boundaries of Shame. A Qualitative Study of Situations of Overstepping Boundaries (of Shame) in Physical
Education as Seen from the Students' Perspective. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 18(2), 60 paragraphs.
 Glaser, B.G., & Strauss, A.L. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Strategies for Qualitative Research. Aldine Publishing Company.
 White, K. (2012). The Body, Social Inequality and Health. In B.S. Turner (Ed.). Routledge Handbook of Body Studies. Routledge, 264–274 .