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Title: Shifting sands and the rise of the technocrat : the professionalisation of sports coaching in the United Kingdom
Author: Taylor, William George
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 9275
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines the changing landscape of the professionalisation of sports coaching and is presented in response to the dearth of empirical research and peerreviewed literature within the field. This paucity has, in turn, created a political context in which the discourses that inhabit transitions towards professionalism are becoming increasingly rigid and inflexible. Policies, too, have exacerbated these situations, creating imposed prescribed reforms that have sought to homogenise coaching practice and further gloss over cultural differences, sporting spaces, and diversity in practice. While volunteerism is often regarded as a socially embedded activity, as well as one that is part of the United Kingdom's (UK) long-established coaching tradition, still there remains an ambition, to transform coaching into certified, professionalised activity. This is a form of professionalism with clear benchmarked standards, novel forms of commercial engagement, ever-present systems of formal accreditation and managed individual accountability. From this has evolved a series of treatments prescribing somewhat standardised solutions to otherwise unique and individualised professional challenges. Against this backdrop, this thesis adopts a more critical orientation towards the debate on the professionalisation of sports coaching in the UK. It examines the tensions, power relations and pockets of resistance that are manifested in practice across different areas of sport, and moves to understand some of the key differences emerging between contemporary reforms, situated practice and socially-embedded coaching traditions. Drawing extensively on Bourdieusian sociology and Foucauldian philosophy as both a methodological guide and tools for analysis, the thesis reflects upon the experiences of coachesand stakeholders operating at all levels of practice in the UK. Findings drawn from the data, together with a consideration of the literature, suggest that while for some the professionalisation process offers opportunities and engagement in commercial based employment, for many this movement is perceived as a fundamental attack on central notions of mutual aid and community provision. Within these notions of resistance and compliance operating in situ/ external factors and policies that have impacted upon the field are examined and the complexities that inhabit the profession of sports coaching as a whole are rigorously analysed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available