More than just a ‘Pro’: a relational analysis of transition in professional football

Stamp, Darryn, Nelson, Lee J. and Potrac, Paul (2021) More than just a ‘Pro’: a relational analysis of transition in professional football. Sport, Education and Society, 26 (1). pp. 72-86. ISSN 1357-3322

SES Submission (Accepted).pdf - Accepted Version

Download (675kB) | Preview
Official URL:


This paper addresses the social and relational dimensions of player transitions in professional football. Data were generated through a total of 24 cyclical, in-depth interviews with three former players. The interview transcripts were subjected to emic and etic readings, with Bauman's metaphors of liquid modernity, hunters and pointillist time, May's theorisation of belonging and Crossley's relational theorising providing the primary heuristic framework. Our analysis led to the construction of two interconnected themes. These were (a) the paradox of feeling wanted by others during workplace transitions and, simultaneously, seeing these others as threats to their career longevity and (b) the interplay between the participants' multiple identities, relations with others outside of the workplace, and their career choices. Importantly, our findings highlighted that player transitions were not tied to the personality traits or characteristics of the individual but rather to broader social and cultural factors. Indeed, the participants' experienced and interpreted their transitions through the reading of their respective social landscapes and their changing understandings of the multiple social networks that comprised them. Based on these findings, we believe there is much to gain from the exploration of multiple identities in sports work and how these play out and are experienced over time.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Transition, multiple identities, belonging, professional football, sports work
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2019 14:06
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 16:21

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics