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Professional identity in the global sports entertainment industry : regulating the body, mind and soul of Australian Football League footballers
journal contributionposted on 2010-03-01, 00:00 authored by Peter Kelly, Chris HickeyChris Hickey
In this article we discuss the ways in which the professional identity of Australian Football League (AFL) footballers — in a physical, high body contact sport — is shaped by concerns to develop different aspects of the body, mind and soul of the young men who want to become AFL footballers. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s later work on the care of the self we argue that narratives of identity necessarily involve a struggle for the body, mind and soul of these young men. Foucault’s work enables us to identify and analyse how relations of power, forms of regulation and arts of governing interact in ongoing attempts to develop the professional footballer. The article explores these issues via an analysis of the rationalities and techniques that inform talent identification and player management practices; and risk management in relation to these practices and processes in the AFL.