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Sport, manners, persons, government: Sport, Elias, Mauss, Foucault

Wickham, G. (1992) Sport, manners, persons, government: Sport, Elias, Mauss, Foucault. Cultural Studies, 6 (2). pp. 219-231.

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The former Arsenal manager and Watford director, Bertie Mee prides himself on his reputation for teaching professional soccer players a ‘rigorous outlook. . . towards all aspects of their lives’. This includes schooling players ‘in everything from which knife and fork to pick up first in expensive restaurants to how to contend with the carnal temptations of trips overseas. Mee took raw, new recruits from the backwoods on educational visits to the Tower of London and introduced them to the joys of personal pension schemes’ (Hill, 1989: 33-4, emphasis in original). Of course, many coaches and administrators in professional sports are now adopting similar techniques and views.

It is doubtful whether these various figures realize the theoretical implications of their remarks about the relationship between the formation of manners and the formation of certain types of person through sport. This essay is an attempt to theoretically address this relationship.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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