“I Just Want to Be Left Alone”: Novel Sociological Insights Into Dramaturgical Demands on Professional Athletes

  • Martin Roderick, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
  • Sociology of Sport Journal, January 2019, Human Kinetics
  • DOI: 10.1123/ssj.2019-0135

'I just want to be left alone': novel sociological insights into demands on professional athletes.

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

What is it about?

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2019-0135 Drawing on findings from a British Academy-funded project examining high-profile sports workers and employing Goffman’s dramaturgical insights, this article provides a novel examination of high-profile athletes who work in highly publicly visible contexts. This working context can render these athletes “open” persons in interactional situations. To explore this sociologically significant occupational domain, interviews were conducted with 26 U.K.-based professional athletes (females and males) from seven different sports.

Why is it important?

To date, no sociological studies of professional athletes have investigated the lived experiences of sportspeople in highly publicly visible occupations that provide relatively few opportunities for backstage relaxation from role demands. For these athletes, dramaturgical demands were found to be relentless and unremitting, as backstage regions proved so challenging to access, with implications for athlete mental health and feelings of wellbeing.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson