The role of disciplinary power at an elite level
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study employed a Foucauldian framework to explore the role of disciplinary power at an elite level. To ensure that this objective was met, an examination into the relationship between power and knowledge, an examination into the athlete’s preparation before and after a competition and an examination into the athlete’s perceptions of control and its effect was conducted. By using qualitative research, a random sample of athletes competing at national or international level was used to achieve results. Qualitative research is the process by which meanings or qualities are comprehended (Gratton and Jones, 2010). Therefore by conducting semi structured interviews, an insight into the participants understanding and experiences following the aims of the study was used. The study highlights the way in which elite athletes are subject to disciplinary power within training sessions in relation to competition and performance. The findings imply that the qualities a coach occupies can lead to respect from the athletes, where the exercising of disciplinary power is vast. The athletes were reported to have made sacrifices for their sport as a means of conforming to “acceptable” behaviour. For athletes, the use of control within the training environment can be valuable if exercised in the right manner.
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