We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Surveillance, Disciplinary Power and Athletic Identity: A Sociological Investigation into the Culture of Elite Sports Academies

MANLEY, ANDREW,THOMAS (2012) Surveillance, Disciplinary Power and Athletic Identity: A Sociological Investigation into the Culture of Elite Sports Academies. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



With the exception of work conducted by Parker (1996a) research concerning identity construction, surveillance practices and power relations within the context of a professional sports academy institution appears limited. Drawing on 30 semi-structured interviews with staff and athletes at two Premiership academies (one rugby, one football), a Foucauldian framework is utilised to provide a sociological analysis of disciplinary power and its impact upon the experiences and development of elite athletes. Foucault’s (1979) concept of panopticism is employed to explore the impact of surveillance as a disciplinary tool within the academies. The concept of surveillance as a disciplinary mechanism is furthered with the application of Latour’s (2005) ‘oligopticon’ and Deleuze and Guttari’s (2003) ‘rhizomatic' notion of surveillance networks. Foucault’s (1979; 1994b) normalising judgment and the concept of self and ‘lateral’ surveillance are employed to understand how the athletes internalise the values, attitudes and behaviours witnessed within the academies. An analysis of the regulation of the social space and time is accompanied by an application of Weber’s (1978) ‘domination by authority’ to explore the authoritative role of the coaches and their relationships with the players. The Foucauldian approach is accompanied by the work of Erving Goffman (1959; 1961a; 1961b) to understand how the role of ‘elite athlete’, bound by the notion of ‘professionalism’, is constructed and managed by the players on a daily basis. By adopting both a Foucauldian and interactionist perspective the thesis explores how the structure of the academies impacts upon the development and socialisation of those housed within them, whilst also maintaining focus upon the construction and management of identity and the presentation of ‘self’ in an institutional setting.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Nov 2012 10:20

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter