The primary objective of this thesis is to examine how culture within the context of Scandinavian elite sport influences talent development in terms of athletes’ social learning and relationships along their developmental pathways and in their developmental environments; and secondary to provide guiding principles that may stimulate ‘cultural competence’ (i.e. cultural awareness and cultural knowledge) in elite sport practitioners working with talent development.
The thesis suggests concrete, empirical context-dependent typologies as a way of reflecting upon and discussing features of successful developmental pathways and environments within and across specific cultures. It thereby contributes to the cultural turn in sport psychology that challenges the universalism operating in the field of sport psychological research.
In regard to applied practice the thesis may inspire practitioners to become aware of their own and others’ cultures and how these cultures influence talent development. The cultural look at talent development enables one to see various roads to the elite and several types of environments in which elite standing can be achieved.
The interdisciplinary and cultural approach to talent development should be employed in future research in order to reveal what characterises great talent development within specific cultural contexts. Research should look more into diversity in regard to developmental pathways and talent development environments.