Amateurism as a Narrative of Control

Journal Article

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) uses amateurism as a narrative to control college athletes, which affects how scholars conduct research with these athletes. This article speaks to issues that arise among qualitative researchers at different institutions when universities control access to athletes under the guise of the ‘amateurism’ narrative. Drawing on Bourdieu, we provide insight into the habitus of athletics departments through vignettes from each of the authors to highlight issues of access to the collegiate athlete population. We simultaneously speak against amateurism as a controlling narrative and argue that there is a need for more immersive research among college athletes to better understand athlete lived experiences within these institutions. From our different disciplinary perspectives, we offer three solutions to this issue that involve the integration of qualitative researchers and practitioners to inform programming that directly impacts the athletes on college campuses across the country. 

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Canada, T; Pericak, K; Seward, MD

Published Date

  • August 29, 2022

Published In

  • Sports Innovation Journal

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / SI

Start / End Page

  • 55 - 68

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2688-3961

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.18060/26003