The life cycle of the AFL footballer : If you sell your body, mind and soul what is left when the cheering stops?
Kelly, Peter and Hickey, Christopher 2006, The life cycle of the AFL footballer : If you sell your body, mind and soul what is left when the cheering stops?, in TASA 2006 : Proceedings of the annual conference of the Australian Sociological Association : Sociology for a mobile world, TASA, Perth, W.A., pp. 1-11.
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TASA 2006 : Proceedings of the annual conference of the Australian Sociological Association : Sociology for a mobile world
Australian Sociological Association Conference
Place of publication
In this paper we will draw on research conducted for the AFL which, in part, illuminated aspects of the Faustian pact that many young men enter into in order to become an elite level, professional footballer in what is increasingly a global sports entertainment industry. In order to develop an identity as an AFL footballer these young men willingly sell their body, mind and soul to one club, or to many. For varying lengths of time these pacts can have significant payoffs - in terms of a sense of self, and in monetary terms. For many though, these payoffs are limited and must be accounted for sometime in the future - an accounting that in Faustian terms, can carry significant costs to the body, mind and soul long after the cheering has stopped, and when the benefits come mainly in the form of memories. In this paper we argue that elements of these pacts can be identified and analysed via the following: understanding AFL as a sports entertainment business; using Foucault's work on the care of the self to explore what it means to be an elite level professional and the demands made by others on the body, mind and soul of players; and the idea that a career as an elite level professional footballer has a number of phases (early, mid and late) in which the nature of a professional identity - shaped by different demands on the body, mind and soul- changes.
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Field of Research
160805 Social Change
Socio Economic Objective
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
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