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Foucault goes to the footy : professionalism, performance, prudentialism and playstations in the life of AFL footballers
reportposted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Peter Kelly, Chris HickeyChris Hickey
This paper will report on a research project funded by the Australian Football League (AFL) that is exploring the emergence and evolution of a ‘professional identity’ for AFL footballers – an identity that has many facets including the emerging ideas that a professional leads a balanced life, and has a prudent orientation to the future. The research is informed by Foucault’s later work on the care of the Self to focus on the ways in which player identities are governed by coaches, club officials, player agents and the AFL Commission/Executive; and the manner in which players conduct themselves in ways that can be characterised as professional - or not. The paper explores elements of these processes by analysing the forms of risk management that Clubs use in the processes of List and Player management that they engage in as a consequence of AFL rules. Psychological testing and profiling of players is becoming more important in identifying, recruiting and managing players. The paper discusses how this testing is used to identify character or personality traits prior to initial recruitment in the draft or trading processes – and suggests that a number of issues related to workplace surveillance and identity emerge as a result.