Date of Award
Doctoral Research Paper
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Brian T. Gearity
Clayton R. Kuklick
Athlete mental health, Coaching, Foucault, Heterotopia, Norms, Ted Lasso
Sports culture, including its traditional coaching practices and norms aligned with orthodox masculinity, has profound negative implications for the mental health and well-being of athletes. To improve athlete mental health and well-being sports coaching must challenge harmful cultural norms. Sports coaching has repeatedly been problematized through a poststructuralist Foucauldian lens; however, predominantly absent from the literature is Foucault’s concept of heterotopia that enables rule-breaking practices to exist. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is two-fold: (a) to explore Foucault’s heterotopia within the context of sports coaching and (b) to demonstrate its use in altering the culture of sports. I begin by introducing Foucault’s theoretical understanding of the ways in which sports norms are produced, enforced, challenged, and altered. I then explore Foucault’s heterotopia within the concepts of his larger works of power, resistance, and the formation of an ethical self. I conclude by operationalizing heterotopia within sports coaching through an analysis of the popular sports comedy-drama television series Ted Lasso (Lawrence et al., 2020-2023) and explore its implications in altering the cultural landscape of sports coaching.
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Harvey, Sebastian D. L., "Heterotopic Sports Coaching: Facilitating Epistemic Revolution" (2023). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 499.
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