Cardiff Metropolitan University
21640629.2021.pdf (1.15 MB)

Goffman, totalisation, and resistance in South Korean coaching: understanding the “underlife” of coaching

Download (1.15 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-14, 17:00 authored by Han Wool Lee, Charles Corsby
Despite the growing body of research that has examined the complex relations in football organisations, one context that has received considerably less attention is the state-led elite sport systems in South Korea. In this article, we examine the interplay between self, affiliation and disaffection within the coaching regime at Suwon University FC (pseudonym), a prestigious school athletic team in South Korea. The precise research methods combined semi-structured interviews and auto-photography. The findings revealed how athletes struggled with the dialectical tension between identification with the coaching context, while also displaying resistant acts that distanced themselves from the organisational practices. Informed by Goffman’s concepts of primary and secondary adjustments, the discussion illuminates how athletes exercised their limited agency for self-preservation, despite aligning to the ‘totalising’ regime. Such work contributes to better understanding the ‘underlife’ of coaching practice and, more broadly, illustrates the functional complexity between disciplinary structures and agency within coaching practice.


Published in

Sports Coaching Review


Taylor & Francis


  • VoR (Version of Record)


Han Wool Lee & Charles L. T. Corsby (2021) Goffman, totalisation, and resistance in South Korean coaching: understanding the “underlife” of coaching, Sports Coaching Review, 10:3, 325-347, DOI: 10.1080/21640629.2021.1897245

Print ISSN


Electronic ISSN


Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Han Wool Lee Charles Corsby

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Sport Coaching

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


  • en

Usage metrics

    Culture, Policy and Professional Practice - Journal Articles