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The athlete–doctor relationship: power, complicity, resistance and accomplices in recycling dominant sporting ideologies

McMahon, J ORCID: 0000-0002-1079-8939 and McGannon, KR 2018 , 'The athlete–doctor relationship: power, complicity, resistance and accomplices in recycling dominant sporting ideologies' , Sport Education and Society , pp. 1-13 , doi: 10.1080/13573322.2018.1561434.

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Sociological investigations into the athlete–medical practitionerrelationship are scarce due to medical bias for positivist epistemologies.The aim of this research was to identify the scope and purpose ofmedical interventions for four athletes, within the context of socialprocesses that enable medicine to claim athletic bodies as objects ofpractice and performance. The role and function of power in theathlete–medical doctor transaction and athlete embodiment were alsoof interest. Using a story-analyst approach grounded in narrativeanalysis, the ideologies of ‘slim to win’ and ‘performance’ were identifiedas the impetus for the athletes seeking the expertise of doctors. Doctorswere positioned as accomplices in ‘slim to win’ and ‘performance’ideologies within the athletes’ stories, which influenced medicalpractices and compromised athlete health. Disciplinary power wasenacted when the doctors observed, corrected and manipulated theathletes’ bodies through medical practice. Athletes also had agencythrough renegotiating the meaning of the ‘treatment’ process byreconfiguring medical doctor’s disciplinary power as forms ofempowerment knowledge. This research highlights the complex natureof the athlete–medical doctor transaction and how these encounters canbe productive and oppressive for athletes.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:McMahon, J and McGannon, KR
Keywords: Narrative analysis; embodiment; medicine; performance; power; agency
Journal or Publication Title: Sport Education and Society
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
ISSN: 1357-3322
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/13573322.2018.1561434
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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