Life in the Swamp: Ethnographic Reflections of Contextual Complexity in Practice

Chris Rowley, Lee Nelson, Paul Potrac

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

    Abstract

    Although the rationalistic conceptualisation of sport psychology has undoubtedly served to enhance practice, it has arguably failed to recognise the complexities and ambiguities that are inherent in this line of work. Little research attention has been paid to the socio-cultural contexts in which sport psychology practitioners operate. Accordingly, we know little about ‘how’ and ‘why’ sport psychologists seek to manage their working relationships with various stakeholders (e.g., athletes, coaches, or administrators), or indeed the dilemmas that they subsequently encounter in their interactions and relations with these significant others. In seeking to somewhat redress this situation, this oral paper aims to build upon a growing body of literature highlighting the practice-based experiences of recent graduates (e.g., Holt & Strean, 2001; Rowley, Earle & Gilbourne, 2012; Tod, Andersen, & Marchant, 2009; & Tonn & Harmison, 2004), by adopting a critical position on the personal dilemmas and uncertainties faced in-practice by the first author. Ethnographic research findings and processes akin to staged reflection (Knowles & Gilbourne, 2010) serve to underpin the key realisations made regarding the inherently political nature of elite level sporting contexts. Accordingly, this paper embraces uncertainty, confusion, and complexity, encouraging practitioners to recognise the social, relational and emotional nature of applied practice. Furthermore, consideration will be given to the problems and decisions that practitioners might face when seeking to navigate such environments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2016
    Event5th International Conference for Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise - University of Chichester, Chichester, United Kingdom
    Duration: 30 Aug 20161 Sep 2016

    Conference

    Conference5th International Conference for Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    CityChichester
    Period30/08/161/09/16

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