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Jackson, Michael P. (1980) The Individual and the Group in an Athletic Club: A Study of Aspiration and Social Interaction In a Voluntary Institution in Southampton. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis studies the internal structure of an athletic club - Southampton and Eastleigh A.C. in both its training and competitive environment. The most important sociological field occurs in the training situation. From an individual point of view consideration is given to aspiration and dedication and also athletical career profiles. The role of the physical being is also considered in its sociological as well as sporting context. After analysis of the individual athlete, interaction patterns with others are studied; with the coach and training partners especially. This introduces the notion of the training 'squad'. The squad is probably the most important sub-grouping studied at the Club. Its structure does not necessarily cater for the different event types within Track and Field Athletics. It is a non-corporate entity and can cross club boundaries. In most cases it has a 'leader' who is the coach. By using network theory, interaction levels within squads can be determined and from this can be ascertained the structure of the sub-group. I used Bott's terms of 'loose' and 'close' knit to classify the particular training systems. Like her I found that norms helped determine the strength of knit. Norm organisation and observation within small groups was a central study of Homans and I utilised some of his theories when categorising the squads at S.E.A.C. The role of the coach as 'leader' became another central issue and I argued that his influence was very relevant to close-knit typologies. As well as the internal workings of squads consideration was also given to political relationships which often governed the interaction between these entities. The theme of 'quasi-factionalism' was introduced here. Aspects more directly associated with the corporate group itself were also analysed: The 'Team' - as a regularly changing sub-group (unlike the squad), the 'Meeting', competitive cycles of the Club, the 'Track' and other training environments.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:15

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