Power and Inclusion in Coaching - The Role of Humour

2019-10-31T15:16:56Z (GMT) by Christian Edwards
Within the field of sports coaching, a burgeoning belief exists that sociological thought has the potential to challenge and shape the boundaries of related knowledge. Such enquiry has set about explaining how coaches manipulate their ‘social competencies’ (Lemert, 1997: x) in order to maintain and improve their various contextual relationships (Jones, 2011a). Despite such developments, a paucity of research still exists examining how humour serves as a vital ingredient in establishing, developing and maintaining social interaction within the coaching context.

The aim of this PhD thesis, therefore, was to explore what type of humour is used, why it was used and the effects of such humour on the context that it occurs. In adopting an interpretive methodology, through ethnographic methods, data were collected by tracking and observing the coaches and players of Senghenyndd City F.C. (pseudonym) during the course of their domestic season. The ‘coding’ of the results moved away from the traditional inductive theorising and used the constant comparative method to revisit existing ideas in respect of the new data collected. The findings were subsequently subject to a ‘light’ theoretical analysis through Goffman’s (1963; 1967; 1983) presentation of self, impression management and interaction order, and Garfinkel’s (1963; 1967) work on social order to highlight how individuals used varying degrees of inclusionary, shared, self-deprecating and disciplinary humour to manage the often micro-political landscape of sports coaching. The results contribute to the recent investigative upsurge into humour and sports coaching by bringing to light the mundane, taken for granted discourses of interaction evident within the relational, everyday aspects coaching.

Thesis completed in 2015.