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Title: "What happens in the changing room, stays in the changing room" : unearthing bullying, banter, teasing and victimisation in men's professional football
Author: Newman, James
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 8284
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2019
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While positive relationships have received substantial focus within sport and exercise psychology literature, negative relational concepts such as bullying remain under explored. Bullying research continues to favour Olewus' (1993) classic definition, which is based on repetition, intentionality and negative actions based on power differentials, even though it may not be applicable to sport. The lack of an appropriate definition of bullying, coupled with the nature of professional football, where excessive forms of banter and teasing are often tolerated (A. Parker, 2006), suggested this would be an ideal context to further explore the confusion around these terms. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of how male professional footballers conceptualise bullying. In addition, this study sought to explore to what extent bullying in professional football differs from teasing, victimisation and banter. To address this purpose the study was designed and analysed according to the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 professional footballers. Given the focus on bullying within professional football, a contextualist position was adopted, utilising psychological and sociological theories and research to interpret the findings. The findings from this study revealed the contextual theme of 'the football environment', three key superordinate themes in relation to the main research questions such as the 'bullying act', the 'bully and victim' and 'the dividing line', as well as the additional superordinate themes of 'banter and teasing'. Bullying was made up of repetitive, abusive elements, which were based upon power differentials. Despite divergence in the participants' accounts at times, bullying was also seen to be independent of banter and teasing. Overall the findings made a vital contribution to the psychological literature by demonstrating the individually nuanced, contextually dependent nature of bullying, while providing key recommendations for education and welfare programmes in football.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available