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Craft idiocy, Erikson and Footballing Identities.

Gray, J. and Polman, R. C.J., 2004. Craft idiocy, Erikson and Footballing Identities. In: Self-concept, Motivation and Identity: Where to from here?, 1--4 July 2004, Berlin, Germany, 288 - 293 .

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In our opinion the current talent development strategies and schemes of the England Football Association and clubs resulted in the development of unhealthy personalities and an un-mature sense of self-identity through the high exposure to a single area of competence. In particular, academy players are in danger of developing self-identities that are characterized as foreclosed. In some way this mirrors the concept called ‘craft idiocy’ (Marx, 1955). Craft idiocy refers to the notion that through their specialisation experts know aspects of their immediate tasks but lack understanding of other methods and abilities and are thus at a disadvantage within societal interrelations. Although there are some positive aspects of a strong athletic identity, there appears to be a growing body of literature that highlights the negative consequences of such a self-concept (e.g., lower psychosocial maturation, lower interpersonal maturity, and lower career planning development). The danger is thus that footballers invest heavily in an athletic identity only to find themselves ‘craft idiots’ once the game is over. We suggest that Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development provides a useful framework for the exploration of a ‘healthy’ development.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:22254
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:22 Jul 2015 09:12
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:52


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