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Control, consent and complicity in the coaching of elite women’s cycling in Australia: a media analysis

Zehntner, CH ORCID: 0000-0002-6739-3246, McGannon, KR and McMahon, JA ORCID: 0000-0002-1079-8939 2017 , 'Control, consent and complicity in the coaching of elite women’s cycling in Australia: a media analysis' , Sport Education and Society , pp. 1-13 , doi:

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The purpose of this study was to extend understanding of how athletes and coaches in a women’s cycling talent development and selection programme negotiate and normalise athlete abuse in the media. A thematic analysis of six online cycling magazine articles and their representations of the Australian women’s elite cycling development camp was analysed to explore athletic abuse and the (re)production of coaching practices using Bourdieusian theory. The findings revealed a link between the expression of coaching practice and the maltreatment of athletes. Analysis of these articles also revealed that athletes were complicit in the normalisation of coaching practices through the misrecognition of social power embedded in the coaching intervention. The representations by athletes within the articles contributed narratives related to the reproduction and proliferation of abusive coaching practices. This study extends understanding of how taken for granted and power laden aspects of coaching practices can be presented in the media and highlights the implications for coaches, athletes and the general public that consume online cycling media content.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Zehntner, CH and McGannon, KR and McMahon, JA
Keywords: Media analysis; emotional abuse; misrecognition; symbolic violence; womens cycling
Journal or Publication Title: Sport Education and Society
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
ISSN: 1357-3322
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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