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Exploring the construction and maintenance of social relationships within an elite female football club using photo interviews and visual concept relationship mapping methods.

Tape, C., 2020. Exploring the construction and maintenance of social relationships within an elite female football club using photo interviews and visual concept relationship mapping methods. Masters Thesis (Masters). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

Social relationships and friendships form a central part of individuals’ lives and can both enhance and hinder their experiences in a variety of settings. In team sports, this is especially true as relationships between teammates are integral to team performance, success and wellbeing. Importantly, highly competitive environments have been shown to be detrimental to the quality of social relationships and friendships. Little is still known about the female team environment and the complexity of relationships that are intertwined and woven into the fabric of a women’s football club. Using qualitative methods in the form of visual concept relationship mapping and photo interviews, the aim of this study was to explore relationships within an adult female football environment. Findings identified 5 types of relationship that were important to the elite female footballer: teammates, friends, family, coach and support staff and romantic partners. When exploring these relationships, the complex and layered relationship dynamics within the team were evidenced through social closeness and social distancing between teammates, coaches and support staff. Interactions between these individuals were influenced by the competitive elite team environment. This study highlights the importance of extending existing understanding of team-mate relationships through highlighting the difference between the ‘team-colleague’ and ‘team- friend’ relationships; previously unexplored within academic literature. Where previous research has focused primarily on male youth sports, the contribution of this study lies in extending this research base into the terrain of female adult sports. Future research should further explore relationships in the elite female sport environment and examine these relationships in relation to athlete wellbeing. Furthermore, it is recommended that the visual concept relationship mapping exercise be validated as a viable psychological tool for relationship interventions across sporting spaces.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Group:Faculty of Management
ID Code:33660
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:06 Mar 2020 10:06
Last Modified:06 Mar 2020 10:06

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