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A sociological perspective of Young Male Academy Footballers’ and their experiences of pain and injury

Armstrong, Cameron (2019) A sociological perspective of Young Male Academy Footballers’ and their experiences of pain and injury. Masters thesis, York St John University.

Text (MSc by Research Thesis)
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Within sport the desire and commitment by athletes to continue to perform when injured is a commonality, especially within professional football. Reasons as to why players continue to perform ranges from their love of the game to earning a new contract. However, the majority of the literature focuses on the elite level of the game with little research being undertaken on the pathway to reach such heights within football; the academy level. This study aims to identify young male academy footballers experiences regarding any pain or injuries they have suffered from a sociological perspective and how it impacts their lives within football. Academy players seem to continue to perform for similar reasons to their elite counterparts with just a smaller financial incentive/lifestyle being at risk or rewarded. The academy level is the opportunity for a prosperous career it appears footballers live through the eyes of the media, yet their bodies and wellbeing undertake a similar strenuous training regime to that of their elite counterparts. In addition, the treatment they receive from the coaches is also similar with an expectancy to play through injury. Semi-structured interviews were employed with 10 male youth academy footballers (ranging from the ages of 17-21 years old) and analysed using sociological concepts surrounding: figurations, power balances and established-outsider groups. Through such methods, the results of this study highlight how academy footballers have an elite mindset regarding their injuries and welfare, with the desire for a footballing career proceeding their health. This mindset is leading young footballers to a potentially damaged future, in terms of their physical welfare, along with the lack of realisation that their career in football is a dangerously short one within the societal world; however, they should not be deterred from such dreams but encouraged to grasp academic or other professional development opportunities.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Status: Published
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0557 Sports
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4573

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